Monday, July 20, 2009
This weekend the media announced that the debate on health care reform will no longer be about reforming health care, but somthing else. It is going to be about Obama. They didn’t come out and say it like that, but I’m good at reading between the lines.
“White House officials and allies brush off any notion that this new sense of unease is meaningful. The only true test, they say, will be results. Obama still might win major health care reform legislation this year that could be the most important new government program in decades. He has a fighting chance to pass regulations on greenhouse gases, in the form of a “cap and trade” mechanism, through the Senate. And Obama continues to press hard, if with no clear progress, for a breakthrough in the Middle East.
“It’s the third quarter, he’s down by a point, and he’s got his best player on the bench – what really is going to be important is the fall,” said James Carville, the veteran Democratic observer.
“If he gets what’s perceived to be some kind of a major health care thing, gets the climate bill through, if the economy recovers, then we’ll all say he had a hell of a summer. Conversely, if the thing falls apart, we’ll say that by July the 19th we could tell the thing was going bad.”
The Washington Post:
“With skepticism about the president's health-care reform effort mounting on Capitol Hill -- even within his own party -- the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to dramatically increase public pressure on Congress: all Obama, all the time.”
The health care reform issue was never an honest debate within the media and with Obama hitting the soap box over the next few weeks, the media is not going to start asking those dangerous, common sense questions that need to be asked. They’ll portray the debate as Obama versus congress. A story about how a popular, but untested President is striving to rise above the tumult and work the political machinery that will make him the greatest President of all time. For many in the media, it's not about health care reform, it's about something else. It’s about getting Obama’s face on Mount Rushmore. Like the media, Obama’s objective is not about health care reform, but about something else.
If it's not about something else: Why do we need a public plan if Obama can get the health care industry to hold cost steady or slow the rate of cost increases?
Obama is constantly reminding everyone that private and public funding for health care, as it currently functions, is unsustainable. He argues that we need to create a system that alleviates the cost burden on the federal budget and create cost savings for the American consumer. This is true. However, where things get fuzzy is Obama’s solution to the problem.
As it stands today, Obama’s plan is nothing more than a large new entitlement program, with a little bit of reform worked in, which is why it makes no sense. Obama may be working (making an assumption here, not a statement) to create health savings for both current government programs and private insurance, but Obama’s health care savings is merely a carrot, dangling for the wanting, to lead you to something else entirely. Something that adds, not subtracts to the liabilities of the tax payer.
On Friday, Douglas Elmendorf the head of the OMB and someone appointed by democrats blew the lid off of Obama’s rhetoric stating that the bills proposed by congress are missing “the sort of fundamental changes necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs.” In fact, he stated that they would pile on to them. Thus putting to bed both of Obama’s stated goals. It is clear we are trading one budget crisis for a much larger budget crisis. It should also be clear that trading large private costs for large public cost is not a beneficial solution for anybody already paying for private health insurance. Even more fundamental is the simple question, “If Obama can make health care cost savings, why do we need a public plan?”
If it's not about something else: Why must we pass health care by August?
Obama’s actions are as flat as his words. Is the health care budget broke 8 years earlier that Obama is projecting? Wouldn’t it be better to ensure that health care reform is effective and responsible? So what’s the rush for August? Perhaps, Obama knows he’ll lose support instead of gain in the long run.
If it's not about something esle: Why won’t the White House address the issues at hand?
The White House announced that they will delay the release of their updated budget projections. I am sure of the reasoning behind this one. Releasing devastating news with regards to the budget only stokes the concern about a devastating budget. They certainly wouldn’t want confusion about Obama’s credibility on health care when he’s losing credibility about his first piece of legislation aimed at fixing the economy.
If it's not about something else: Why is Obama pressuring the Blue Dogs?
Even more interesting is the question of why Obama is hitting the campaign trail to intimidate congress, even as congress is working fast to meet Obama’s demands:
“Conservative Democrats in the House are promising to vote against reform as it now stands, and are preparing two dozen amendments, including measures aimed at lowering the effort's long-term cost. In the Senate, members from both parties are urging the president to break his campaign promise to preserve the tax-free status of health benefits. And a chorus of weary voices from Capitol Hill is urging him to abandon his demand for passage of bills in the House and Senate by Aug. 7.”
If the point is to ensure more and reduce Federal budget constraints then the “Conservative Democrats” ought to be given a hand shake from Obama, not a declaration of war.
Could it be that “something else” I mentioned above is more important than following through on promises or holding an honest debate? I’ll leave you to debate what that “something else” might be. Whatever it might be is irrelevant. What matters is that it is unsupportable and must be stopped.
Obama gave a speech today and tried to clarify, what the "something else" is:
"This isn't about me," Obama responded. "This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses, and breaking America's economy."
Sorry media! Obama says, "This isn't about me." Please stop reporting it that way. I've already pointed out that it's not about saving costs in America.
The report also said:
Striking a more populist tone than in past remarks, the president complained that "health insurance companies and their executives have reaped windfall profits from a broken system."
Are we to believe that this "something else" Obama is after might be to get even with health insurance companies by bankrupting taxpayers and businesses? And the left thinks Michelle Bachman is crazy.