Health Care Debate: It's about something else

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.

The Politico:

“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.
Update #1:

Obama gave a speech today and tried to clarify, what the "something else" is:

He says:

"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.


Obama Nation said...

"It is going to be about Obama."

It most certainly is. I'm having an on-going debate about QAHCAA with one of my die-hard liberal friends, and to quote him:

"Obama gets EVERYTHING that he wants, and while I think a public debate over health care is necessary, if this thing doesn't get passed before the end of the year, his first term could spiral downward FAST...Look at what happened to Hillary Clinton in the early 1990s..."

It's truly disconcerting that these people are more concerned with Obama's legacy and success as president than they are with the country's interests.

July 20, 2009 at 4:27 PM
MommyLoves said...
This comment has been removed by the author. July 20, 2009 at 7:48 PM
blackandgoldfan said...

It's about power and control over people's lives. Obama isn't stupid insofar as he knows that if it doesn't get passed by August 7, it's dead. There is more than ample time during the recess for Americans to get to know EXACTLY what's in it, and Daddy O no likey.

I watched part of his speech today (until I felt my lunch coming up), and I actually found myself literally screaming at the t.v. Good thing the kids were at grandma's playing; language lesson!!! How he can say that families are being bankrupted by insurance companies while he's spending every penny hard-working Americans are paying in taxes takes jumbo-sized coconut ones. The man has not one shred of shame.

Hey Barry! I got your healthcare plan right here!

July 20, 2009 at 9:50 PM

As it stands today, Obama’s plan is nothing more than a large new entitlement program, ..exactamundo my friend!!!

July 20, 2009 at 10:29 PM
Nameless Cynic said...

Well, there's two ways to look at this. Why should we pass national health care legislation?

First, legislatively and economically.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates this evening confirming for the first time that H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, is deficit neutral over the 10-year budget window - and even produces a $6 billion surplus. CBO estimated more than $550 billion in gross Medicare and Medicaid savings. More importantly, the bill includes a comprehensive array of delivery reforms to set the stage for lowering the future growth in health care costs.

Net Medicare and Medicaid savings of $465 billion, coupled with the $583 billion revenue package reported today by the House Committee on Ways and Means, fully finance the previously estimated $1.042 trillion cost of reform, which will provide affordable health care coverage for 97% of Americans.

So, are we clear on that? We can afford it, no matter what the doomsayers and anti-Obama faction likes to claim.

But, if that isn't enough, why should we give healthcare to every American?

Because that's what Jesus would do. (Matthew 25:34-46)

(I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.)

July 21, 2009 at 12:21 AM
The Law said...
This comment has been removed by the author. July 21, 2009 at 2:16 AM
The Law said...

We should put the niceties aside and be honest with ourselves. The debate is not really about money. If it were, then we would have seen as much fervor with Bush's military spending. This debate isn't really about excessive government spending. History has shown that in times of great economic turmoil, "excessive" government spending hasn't sent our country to the poor house - in fact we emerged stronger with FDR (a democrat) using massive government spending to put our manufacturing centers in overdrive, and also with Bill Clinton (also a democrat) who enacted a number of social programs that got people off the streets and away from crime to once again produce productive Americans. This is not to say republicas muck everything up, this is merely to point out that liberal agenda does not spell the end of the world as we know it.

That said, let's discuss what the debate is really about: As it stands today, Obama’s plan is nothing more than a large new entitlement program...

It's an age old struggle between the haves and the have nots. From my vantage point, it would seem that many on the right believe that it's outlandish to think people legitimately cannot afford healthcare. That the uninsured are leeching off the system, and that burden is going to be passed to the middle class and the rich. The fact of the matter is this is once again an ideological battle of wills, the sick be damned. Republicans wanted to crush this bill before Obama even muttered a plan for it. Nevermind the fact that the costs keep rising to the point where even those who have healthcare may not have it in a few years, or the estimate that the current trajectory will see healthcare costs double in the next 10 years, nevermind that having the uninsured use hospitals as clinics means they are treating the problem when its already too late, which ultimately costs the system more money, the right see this as an entitlement program. That's the problem folks. With this mindset it is a) difficult to understand the plight of uninsured Americans and b) difficult to come to the negotiation table with any serious idea. The conservative unwillingness to bend their principles just a little bit and maybe peer over the other side of the fence where the grass isn't greener makes it impossible to find good solutions.

So Obama once again has to go it alone. My conservative friends, if you're angry with Obama, take a look in the proverbial mirror and ask, "how can I redirect my frustration in a way that is constructive and helps add to healthy debate?" Because the socialist rhetoric does nothing but ensure a mostly unilateral decision which is not a good thing. So yes, he needs to get this bill done sooner than later, because this is the last best chance at making some serious ground in healthcare before the costs completely break the system.

July 21, 2009 at 2:18 AM

@ ObamaNation - Yes, there are certainly many out there that are making this about Obama. On both sides of the isle I'm sure.

@ Blackandgoldfan - Honestly, I can't make up my mind on Obama. I'm more apt to think he's in over his head. I'm certainly no authority on the truth of that.

@ WomanHonorThyself - There is no way around that fact.

@Nameless Cynic - I responded in a post today. I hope you don't mind. You've actually helped clear something up for me. I appreciate your well thought out comment, minus the crudeness. I hope that we will have many more fruitful debates in the future. However, I'm not going to put up with accusations and insults going forward. If I have in someway offended you in the past, I truly apologize.

@ tL - I think there are many in your camp where this is about everyone getting paid access to health care. This is many on the left's "something else." That is a worthy debate and a much more honest debate. However, I think that many people in America would not agree that we should pay soaring health care costs in order to pay for everyone's health insurance. I believe it may be a losing debate, which is why Obama is trying to sell it as cost savings. That argument is misleading and a lie. I'd prefer the honest debate that you have taken up.

July 21, 2009 at 1:04 PM

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