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The President's Problem with the Health Care Debate

The problem the President is having in the health care debate is one of his own making. He doesn't know how to explain the plan and Americans are using their common sense and realizing what they are hearing just doesn't make sense. Here is a good example from IMAO:

If the government gives a big wad of cash to your business, they can tell you how much you can pay your employees, what mode of transportation you can take, and where you can travel to because you're on the taxpayer's dime.


If the government is spending big wads of cash on your health care, they promise not to interfere with any health-related choices you'd care to make, no matter how many taxpayer's dimes it costs.

Anybody buying this?

The President's problem selling the health care plan is the topic of my column at American Issues Project today.

The problem the President is having selling his plan to overhaul the nation's health care system is not attributable to what he called the "wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed." His problem is this debate is something the average American can understand.... he should be looking at what he is telling them. The post office reference is a prime example.

... Even those who have not had a negative personal post office experience have most likely noticed how often the cost of a stamp has risen over the past few years. Most know that in spite of frequent increases in the cost of a stamp, the USPS has been running with a huge deficit and has recently even discussed reducing mail delivery from six days a week to five.

Read the rest at American Issues Project.


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Comments (29)

In my opinion, the biggest ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

In my opinion, the biggest issue with the health care bill is that it is so bulky and convoluted that it is completely malleable. It is this malleability that allows people to project their fondest hopes or darkest fears onto the bill, as the case may be. The fearful are no doubt closer to the truth. If it passes, big government will in effect have carte blanch. This is why the democrats are salivating. For those who put their full trust in socialism (or pine for free abortions, assisted suicide, and sex changes) I suppose it is good news.

In any case, it is difficult to accurately represent something that is as hard to nail down as jello and has more holes than swiss cheese. We are debating a phantom and I think the democrats want to keep it that way. The few details we can glean look menacing. Appointed panels will iron out the details? We don't have time to read the bill? It is to important to fail? These things do not engender confidence.

"The problem the President ... (Below threshold)

"The problem the President is having in the health care debate is one of his own making. He doesn't know how to explain the plan..."

It is indeed of his own making. 1) I don't think he completely knows what's in the plan. Providing only the most general of guidelines he turned the details of the legislation over to Congress and even they don't know what's in it. Well, I guess they do now because the American public which have basically become congressional aides are now doing that job. 2)Some of the wild interpretations may be "wild". But for him to say they have no resemblance to anything he proposed is wrong. In most cases the is some resemblance. If he denies ANY resemblance and in people's minds there is some resemblance, no matter how mild, then you lose credibility. For him to say there is no resemblance simply saves him from having to debate the issue at all. For him to say there is some resemblance places him in the uncomfortable position of having to debate the issue's nuances and he is ill-prepared to do this. Obama's best speeches have come when he is able to speak in broad and lofty generalities. When getting into details, not so much because in that setting he is forced to play his hand. If all politics are local there is nothing more local than your own body and by extension its well being. I am wondering if Obama would have an easier time if the baby boomers weren't such a large, vocal and most importantly, aging, generation. If he were talking to baby boomers in their 20s and 30s he probably could have pulled this off. Just a guess.

It's time to make a commerc... (Below threshold)

It's time to make a commercial in which Grandma is lying on a bed with a respirator and have an Obama lookalike character walk in and pull the plug.

I bet that would get some attention.

GuysThe fact is th... (Below threshold)


The fact is that you cannot add 50 million people into the system, eliminate pre-conditions, give them everything they want and need and cut costs.

It is impossible.

That is why they cannot explain it well- because it is a fairytale.

People do not value things that are free. Providing all this unlimited care will drive millions who pay nothing and will pay nothing to providers relentlessly because it costs them nothing. They will overutilize the system because it costs them nothing.

The only way to control these costs is strict rationing, and I mean strict. Otherwise, the costs go astronomical.

And it gets worse. Democrats will use the promise of additional health care benefits as bait when fishing for future votes.

You just watch.

The government already runs... (Below threshold)

The government already runs two bankrupt health care programs with trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities.

Comrade Obama is going after the private insurance companies reserve funds.

Jeff:"Appointed... (Below threshold)


"Appointed panels will iron out the details? We don't have time to read the bill? It is to important to fail? These things do not engender confidence."

No, but they remind you of the signs at a used car dealership.

"No Credit, No Problem!" (Jacked up rates, ruinous payments.)

"Buy Now, Pay Later!" (And boy, do you ever.)

"We'll Take Anything in Trade!" (Won't give you shit for it, but they'll take it...)

"Nobody Walks Away!" (Not if you've got a pulse and an income - and the pulse is optional.)

Promises are being made, which are subject to varying interpretions. The interpretations they'd LIKE you to make aren't going to be the implementation.

re 1) Jeff: It is more tha... (Below threshold)

re 1) Jeff: It is more that just malleable. There are chunks here and there of specific "pork" designed to satisfy various special interests As I hate Jello with bits of fruit in it, the metaphor still works for you.

The better term than malleable is that it is a smoke screen, a mirror box, a magician's prop, designed to fool the audience. Once their choice and private insurance disappear, so many will be saying "How DID he do that?"

While others have been trying to warn folks that this is what's going to happen. The patsy's just can't suspend their belief.

Obamalala and the liberals ... (Below threshold)

Obamalala and the liberals know where the votes and dollars are. Give free health care to most of the population and control it. Open the borders and grant amnesty to illegals. Then target retirement funds and pensions because of the trillions there. Voila! All the money and votes the liberals will ever need to stay in control and turn the country into a socialist state. To Obamalala nothing else matters. I can hear him scolding his henchmen in the Oval Office, "This president is not going to be thrown out after one term, so....uh...make it happen but, don't bother me with details."

1,000+ page Bill, that requ... (Below threshold)

1,000+ page Bill, that requires nearly 10,000 ADDITONAL pages from other documents to fully explain (the "definitions" of terms are merely references to other documents). Why?

If the intent was REALLY to provide "reform", then the Bill would split into logical steps, and simplified to be understandable. But it is another "omnibus Bill", written in an intentionally confusing way. Sadly for the Dems they didn't get it passed before the recess...because people are actually translating it and thus support is plummeting!

Keep the heat on, folks. Because having the government determine whether you live or die is NOT healthy! :)

"You tell me what you want,... (Below threshold)

"You tell me what you want, and I'll sell it to the American people."

Barack Obama said that.

And that's his central problem. Credibility. The American people are not nearly so stupid as to miss hearing the clarity of that statement.

Nobody likes to be lied to. I don't know about you, but I don't. What's between the lines is this: The healthcare "reform" he's trying to shove down our throats is less important to him than winning a political fight. He doesn't understand that the American people don't want to buy what he's selling because it's all platitudes and bullshit. Many of us see that. He is so invested in his need to get this done before he loses control of Congress that he just doesn't hear it. This is bad legislation, hurried onto the floor, with little regard for the unintended consequences it will surely bring.

And what do we get for our money? We lose our existing healthcare insurance and get shoved into an enormous government program that takes away our freedom to choose. The NHS in Britain is the third largest employer in the world, after the Red Chinese Army and the Indian National Railway. This is what we're expected to buy into. Life and health decisions being made by the DMV, whether we want it or not. No matter how you view the debate, an enormous and expensive bureaucracy will be needed to steer the behemoth.

And "shoved into" is an accurate phrase. Employers with payrolls over $250,000 will be assessed a tax if they don't roll over into the government insurance pool. Individuals will be prohibited from buying a personal policy from the day the law is signed, and will be forced to pay a punitive tax if they elect not to buy insurance at all. Employers will quickly figure out they can get out of the healthcare business entirely by simply surrendering their health insurance programs to the government. Despite Obama's soothing assurances to the contrary, this is not choice, and it's antithetical to a market based system and the freedom to live our lives without government intrusion. Blue Cross announced job cuts today, and explained that it was anticipating the passage of this bill as the reason. The same thing will happen to the other insurance companies.

Obama takes great exception to the idea that the government will be euthanizing grandma. That may not be his intent, but that will most assuredly be the result. Healthcare rationing is unavoidable. The government cannot control costs without making serious cuts in spending, and the largest portion of health care costs, by anyone's definition, is used people with a lot of miles on them. Would you put a new engine into that 1974 Oldsmobile in your driveway, or would you junk it and buy a new car that will promise trouble free driving for years? No matter how you slice it, health decisions will inevitably be based on age and other long-term healthcare conditions. Cerebral palsy, MS, diabetes, heart and circulatory problems, severe mental issues and other long-term degenerative diseases can only be viewed in terms of cost-benefit. And that means people are going to be simply shoved off to the side to die as quietly and as inexpensively as possible. It's for the good of the program. Government has to control costs with the only means at its disposal - by withholding payment for inconvenient costs. It's passive Eugenics and it's inescapable. It's going to happen. I don't care what Obama says, but whether he means to or not, he's lying to us. And a lot of us know it.

Obama is out selling Obamacare because he's a salesman. The fact that he's selling a poor product doesn't even occur to him. Just so he closes the sale.

We can do better than this bill. With all the political chips on his side of the table, Obama and the Lefties in Congress jsut may get their wish and get this piece of legislative crap passed into law. When they do, they're going to own it and have to answer to the American people come next November.

Back in the not so distant ... (Below threshold)

Back in the not so distant past, the Congress critter introduced a draft bill on the floor of each body. The Speaker and the President-ProTem assigned the bill to a committee to mark up the bill. The relevant committees in question, held hearings to find out if the law was really needed, or it was just a waste of time. That is the way it used to work. Now, they don't even draft a bill and then skip the relevant committee and ram it through on the floor, before anything has been written down on a scrap of paper. Do that later.

This "bill" is the Waxman b... (Below threshold)

This "bill" is the Waxman bill. Henry Waxman is an ultra liberal congressman from California. Nothing comes out of his office except the most liberal, socialist legislation supported by more and more taxes. It is no wonder the people that have read the bill are incensed. Obamalala has no proposal of his own which is why he can't discuss it without stumbling and bumbling all over himself.

I think the biggest thing m... (Below threshold)

I think the biggest thing missing from the debate, as it comes from Democrats and Obama, is "how?" They keep telling us that this "mega massive humongous but we won't read it" legislation will reduce costs, but, they never get beyond the talking point which says it will reduce costs.

If you have a public option which is artificially low, private insurers will eventually be driven out of business.

If you have reduced payments and those in the medical profession cannot make ends meet, they will be driven out of business, and then there will be fewer and fewer people in the medical business.

Leading straight to rationing, denial of service, and reduced quality of service.

They keep telling us tha... (Below threshold)

They keep telling us that this "mega massive humongous but we won't read it" legislation will reduce costs, but, they never get beyond the talking point which says it will reduce costs.

The only things I've heard Obama say on this issue is that his plan will reduce expensive amputations by providing nutrition advice to diabetics and reduce unneeded, greed-driven tonsillectomies.

What it comes down to is th... (Below threshold)

What it comes down to is that Barry is lying through his teeth. He's going to pay for everything with 'cuts' and 'efficiency' and 'eliminate waste and fraud'. AND pay for the difference with taxes 'on the rich'.

And it would all be done and signed by the end of July and before the August recess.

Yep, real 'debate' there. And what happened to that "C-Span" debate where everyone would have input?

Our health care system isn't 'broken'. It does need fixing, but Barry's "Plan" (whatever the hell that is) addresses few of those issues.

I love the libs who point with pride to Social Security and Medicare as 'social programs that work'. What bullshit! Barry complains about their rising costs as justification to 'rebuild' 1/5 of the US economy. Medicare is rife with fraud (A $2 BILLION case just uncovered) and Social Security is a farce. There is no "Social Security Trust Fund", Congress spent that money years ago, mostly by adding 'programs' that have nothing to do with retirement. FDR's program allowed you to retire and draw funds at age 65. Well back then, you were damned lucky to live to 65. Franklin wasn't stupid. Only problem is, people are now living longer. They want to collect the money the government CONFISCATED from them. Now we have the baby boomers moving into retirement and into that portion of their lives when medical care is used more often. So government costs won't go up? AND we haven't even added the 'uninsured' to the problem yet. But not to worry, Barry and his Obamanomics will keep health care affordable to everyone. No rationing, no denial of services. And the unicorns will dance and play on broad sunlit meadows.

Good post. Good comments.</... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Good post. Good comments.

I can't add anything that already hasn't been said, except to say that America is not Europe.... yet.
Welfare healthcare (or whatever it is called, it is all Socialized Medicine, AFAIC) will not be accepted here without a fight.
And it will be a real, physical fight. (shrug) Well, I don't like thinking about that, but if fighting needs done, it will be done.

Thankfully, the momentum has shifted slightly. (Where the hell did this all come from, is what most Americans are thinking. Was the average American thinking 8 months ago ' Hmm. I'd like to massively transform our way of life and totally dismantle our healthcare system? ' No, we were not thinking that.)

The biggest problem now is that many or all of the most outrageous aspects in this bill will be removed, it will pass into law, and the Pols will say ' See, we compromised and made a law that everyone will be happy with.' And everyone will pat themselves on the back and think 'We really solved the healthcare 'problem''.

Then over time all the bad stuff creeps back into the law, as the bureaucrats and regulators take charge.

Don't let them get their noses in the tent.

The problem Obama is having... (Below threshold)

The problem Obama is having in the health care debate is that he can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Re: "Obama takes great exce... (Below threshold)

Re: "Obama takes great exception to the idea that the government will be euthanizing grandma"

Indeed he does. Perhaps, as Tom Maguire notes, it has to do with what he has actually said.

Check out this exchange with David Leonhardt of the Times in May.

THE PRESIDENT: So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

DAVID LEONHARDT: So how do you -- how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It's not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that's part of what I suspect you'll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

He knows how to expalin it ... (Below threshold)

He knows how to expalin it to His panzer divisions...Just not to the rest of us who wont fall in line and salute Him.

"The problem the President ... (Below threshold)

"The problem the President is having....."
is that a boy was elected to do a man's
job. Pure and simple.

Watch it Trajan, someone wi... (Below threshold)

Watch it Trajan, someone will probably call you a racist for using the term "boy".

Although I would agree we have the wrong person for the job. Obama hasn't lead on much of anything. He sets back and tells the Dems in Congress to come up with something and he will go out and sell it. He has very little executive or bill creating experience basically he has

Let Me finish it for You Wa... (Below threshold)

Let Me finish it for You Wayne..

"basically he has" zero experience.

There, all better.

Another "problem" with sell... (Below threshold)

Another "problem" with selling it is, the Dems are only saying "the bill will NOT do this or NOT do that..." ... "there's just misinformation out there". But they are NOT saying what it WILL do. THAT is why people (justifiably) are upset.

Health care, schmelth care.... (Below threshold)

Health care, schmelth care.

I want a smaller government, not a larger one.

How can having more people involved in health care make things less expensive or more efficient?

How many more people will it take per county/state/hospital/clinic/country to make things run correctly, all on the tax payers nickel? (Too many cooks spoil the soup.)

Who are these people who will make and/or approve your health care decisions and what makes them qualified to do it? (Because they voted for Obama, now they get this job?)

Will the right hand know what the left hand is doing? (Will they care?)

Will the Unions have to dance to the same tune or are they exempt?

On and on it goes....

Well commented. If the gum... (Below threshold)

Well commented. If the gummint-media syncophants would do just a little legwork, I'm sure they'd uncover the opinions of over 10 million people not paying for healthcare because they choose not to. Now they would have the opportunity to pay, in perpetuity, for another crappy government product they don't want.

As others have stated - Medicare: broke; Medicaid: broke; Social Security: broke - with the cash ripped out by gummint douchebags for spending on other projects. Who (other than moron, pie-in-the-sky liberals) can trust these derelicts with healthcare?

Due to recent budget cuts a... (Below threshold)

Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of health care, housing, food, electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.
Sincerely yours

re: Will the Unions have to... (Below threshold)

re: Will the Unions have to dance to the same tune or are they exempt?

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed paying for the bill in part by taxing health care benefits for workers...But those union members serving under collective bargaining agreements would not be subjected to the tax, according to proposals under discussion.

Looks like another problem with Obamacare.

Anybody who believes a word... (Below threshold)

Anybody who believes a word of what these congressional clunkers are selling needs to seek medical attention now, before it's too late.

The Democrats could have co... (Below threshold)

The Democrats could have controlled this issue. Obama won on what seemed to be two simple healthcare messages: giving healthcare to the uninsured and making private insurers act more fairly. It would have been hard for anyone on the right to successfully argue against these ideas.

But when the actual plan got out, it was not about those two issues. It was all about moving everyone into socialized medicine. That's why they're losing this debate.

Why did the Democrats do this? Because for them it is less about helping the downtrodden and making the world more fair--it's all about flat out government control of everything and everybody.






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