This video of a Republican congressman from Michigan, Mike Rogers, speaking at a Congressional hearing about health care back in July has been viewed an impressive 6.7 million times on YouTube. He begins worrying that the health care of the 85% of Americans who have insurance is going to be ruined as part of the effort to expand coverage to the uninsured. "Why would we punish the part that's working to cover the part that's not?" he asks. My immediate thought was whether to wonder whether, given the soaring costs -- "relentlessly rising premiums," as the New York Times says -- it's accurate to describe the American health care system as working. Mr. Rogers has a pretty good response to that in the form of studies from Britain and Canada finding that "If you have prostate cancer, you have a less chance of survivability than you do in the United States. And that's the same for skin cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and the list goes on and on and on." The congressman goes on: "You're gonna look your mothers and daughters in the eye...If you get breast cancer, I'm sorry, honey, you have less of a chance of survival than you did before this bill passed." Mr. Rogers also taps in to the concern that health care is part of a broader expansion of government's role: "We're gonna tell you what kind of car to drive, we're gonna tell you what kind of light bulb you can put in, what kind of window you have to replace your house with, and oh, by the way, now we're gonna pick your doctor and your plan."
Rep. Mike Rogers on Health Care