"I happen to believe in the people and believe that the people are supposed to be dominant in our society. That they, not government, are to have control of their own affairs to the greatest extent possible with an orderly society." - Ronald Reagan

Too much.

Posted: July 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: National | No Comments »

Even the best of sometimes succumb to impulse to treat those we disagree with less charitably than those we consider allies. As such, I try my best to restrain both my judgement and my comments.

Then there are times it just gets to be too much. From today’s presidential address:

This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage, or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in 2009.

False urgency seems to be a hallmark of this administration. There is absolutely nothing restraining the legislature from introducing a new bill tomorrow or the next year or the next year of the next. One might posit that unified and overwhelming control of both chambers of congress presents a unique opportunity for reform, that neither explains nor justifies passing another omnibus bill without due deliberation.

Have we learned nothing from the so-called stimulus package, which we are now being told was never designed to have a profound short term effect?

The address contains a number of other questionable statements and arguments:

Now we know there are those who will oppose reform no matter what.

This rhetorical gem seems to be a favourite of the president. Throughout his campaign he presented himself as the only alternative to the status quo. During the stimulus debate, every detractor wanted to “sit by and do nothing.” In the budget debate, every opposing voice was in favour of “the very same policies that have led us to
a narrow prosperity and massive debt.”

Other people have ideas, Mr. President. Try listening to them.

First, the same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue – believe it or not – that health reform will lead to record deficits.

Is it that difficult to believe? The official budget already projects record deficits and the initial analysis of H.R. 3200 concludes an additional $239 billion shortfall.

Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period, end of story.

The bill establishes criteria for “qualified” plans. Unless your coverage meets the criteria, it doesn’t matter how much you like it. Non-qualified plans will be allowed to operate for a limited time but are barred from new enrolments or changes.

I don’t believe that government can or should run health care.

The statement seems incompatible with the inclusion of a government option for insurance, unless one takes it to mean exclusive operation. However, his own website states that “Obama Has Consistently Said That If We Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System, But Now We Need To Build On The System We Have.”

His web site is right. He has consistently and unequivocally stated that government can and should run health care, but “we’ve got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off.”

The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing. But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family.

Again with the “do nothing” canard. The opponents of this health insurance reform have consistently explored and offered alternative proposals for health care reform. They even introduced alternate legislation months before the current bill came to floor.

I would appreciate leaders willing to address ideas on their merits instead of acting as if they don’t exist.

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