From hope and change to condescension and distrust

There is a growing perception of condescension surrounding the selling of the White House’s health care plan. Common sense tells us the government cannot simultaneously expand coverage and reduce costs. The government cannot dramatically inflate demand for health care services and eliminate market mechanisms for allocating them without devising some way of rationing supply and demand through political means. To suggest otherwise, as the White House has, is not just misleading but insulting. And the American people don’t like to have their intelligence insulted.

The phony sense of crisis, the inattention to the details and the transparent dishonesty of many of the claims have made voters question not only the program but the president. What does Obama have to hide? Why won’t he level with us? The discovery that there are hidden, controversial provisions in the plan has sparked rumors about imaginary provisions. Denouncing the false concerns as “lies,” as the White House has done, doesn’t redeem the apparent effort to obfuscate certain details of the plan. And the now-abandoned request of loyalists to report “suspicious communications” to the White House did nothing to assuage voters’ distrust.