Listening to President Obama explain “his” health care plan, I can’t help but wonder if he actually believes his own words.
Maybe it’s been so long since the adoring press corps has held him accountable for his innumerable exaggerations, omissions and misstatements that he believes he can create a new reality simply by speaking it into existence.
However, for anyone who’s been paying attention, the President’s recent health care pep rally disguised as a press conference was littered with statements that just don’t square with reality:
• Obama: “So let me be clear: if we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control the deficit.”
Here, the President comes so close to the truth as to stare into its eyes before veering away like an over-correcting teenage driver on a country road.
Medicare and Medicaid, the government’s previous forays into health care, are devouring the budget and exploding deficits. Controlling the costs of those programs should be the target, but few in Congress have demonstrated the courage to do so.
Instead, Obama’s prescription is to fix these fiscal disasters by expanding government’s authority over what’s left of the voluntary private health care market. That’s like your doctor wanting to break your right arm to be sure he sets your broken left arm correctly.
• Obama: “I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean it.”
Reminds me of the famous “read my lips” pledge by the first President Bush. We all know how well that worked out.
Congress has consistently under-estimated the costs of government health care programs. Medicare cost $3 billion when first implemented in 1966. At that time, costs for 1990 were estimated at $12 billion (allowing for inflation), but actual costs in 1990 were $107 billion — or 791% greater.
When the Congressional Budget Office pegs the cost of ObamaCare at an opening bid of $1 trillion (others estimate as much as $4 trillion), that should scare the pants off anybody who cares about how deeply in debt we bury our children and grandchildren.
• Obama: “In addition to making sure that this plan doesn’t add to the deficit in the short-term, the bill I sign must also slow the growth of health care costs in the long run.”
CBO economists recently told a Senate committee that the current legislation, which the President admits he “isn’t familiar with,” would actually make matters worse by “significantly expand(ing) federal responsibility for health care costs.” Over the long run federal spending would keep rising at an “unsustainable pace.”
• Obama: “It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it.”
What’s the point of this huge expansion of the federal health care bureaucracy if not to put government — instead of silly, selfish citizens — in charge?
If the President really believes what he says, then the prescription is simple: repeal federal laws governing private health care. That’s the surest way to “keep government out of health care decisions.”
That, however, would undermine the nanny-statists inherent desire to regulate and tax everything that might adversely affect your health. And then why would you need government?
Instead, Obama and the Democrats demand that you purchase insurance, micro-manage the coverage you must buy, empower the IRS to penalize you should you refuse, and establish a government commission to decide which treatments your doctor can provide for you.
All this from the President who says, “When you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They’re not telling the truth.”
Whatever you say, Pinnochio.
3 Thoughts on “Does Obama believe his own words?”
So, Mr. Hillman, what is your plan? Seriously, I’d like to hear your solutions. Medicare and Medicaid are very bloated…we should have fixed them years ago, but we’ve done nothing and now their inefficiencies are burying our future in debt.
I will be looking forward to that column, or perhaps you’ve already written it and I’ve missed it.
Also, what are your thoughts about the VA? I know it’s a government run healthcare. Is it also in trouble?
Thanks for your response. I would agree that Medicare is a disaster. A local expert has told me that 74 cents of every dollar is administrative. He’s way right, politically, of me, but he is also highly informed, and I don’t doubt he is close to correct.
I am handcuffed in my own health care situation. I am a school district employee, but I am forced to pay for my wife’s high deductible policy out-of-pocket because our district’s insurance situation makes us pay the same as if we have twenty kids.
We have no kids.
I am also very fit, but have to pay the same as the sickliest of us. I eat well.
So yes, there is a lot of one-size-fits-all out there that is hurting health care.
I like your recommendations as well. What rankles me, as a left of center guy, is why was it okay for all the cumbersome inefficiencies in health care to exist for all these years? To me, it seems like fiscal conservatism is becoming all the rage in the last six months, but before that there was a spending spree. The Contract with America, (started in 1993 was it?) gave Republicans a lot of energy and time to effect change, but they didn’t.
So when I read your words, they seem partisan.
I see this country headed for a cliff in a lot of ways because of partisanship. I know that cuts both ways, but you seem to have the ear of our local paper (Pueblo Chieftain), and you could help things out by trying to mend fences. You could make the same points without “Pinocchio” remarks about the President of the United States.
Those kinds of remarks are plain irritating and divisive.
The question should be Who is the real Pinnochio
Anyone who had actually been paying attention for the last 8 years would have realized our press corps no longer holds administrations accountable for their “innumerable” exaggerations, omissions and misstatements. To apply a double standard to one administration while glibly accepting the outright lies and corruption of another is pure hypocrisy. Or maybe you weren’t paying attention during the Bush years???
Further if you had been paying attention to what the current GOP members in Congress are saying you would notice an extreme amount of misinformation, omissions and outright lies are being stated by members who accept large campaign donations from the health insurance industry. Consider that most of them oversaw adding over three trillion dollars in debt without so much as a whimper about how that debt would be paid down or even how that expenditure would provide any benefits to the American people. No one accused the invasion of Iraq to be a tax hike, or asked how that debt was ever going to be paid off. Much like Ronald Reagan’s own nearly 3 trillion dollar deficit creation and lies and omissions for that matter. That’s still on our tab. Add to that a Tarp Bill with little or no accountability for the banks and brokerage firms it bailed out or sent out of business and you have exactly what you are critical of in the press coverage of Obama. I didn’t hear you complaining about the failure of the press to hold people accountable then.
Most of Obama’s current critics sat back and accepted the outright lies and deception of absolute guarantees of weapons of mass destruction, and when it became obvious to even FOX News editorialists that no such weapons ever existed, there was no effort to by the press or Congress to bring accountability to the table. Widespread corruption in the rebuilding process? No accountability. We don’t torture? Still no accountability. Politicizing the Justice department and using it to pursue political prosecutions? No accountability. Illegal and unconstitutional surveillance programs? No accountability. Lying to Congress? No accountability. The list goes on and on. Where was your attention then??
Our military budget is actually the big drain on the budget and serves the largest threat to our stability as a nation. Over the past 30 years there has been a deliberate attempt by opponents of government to make programs like Medicare and Medicaid less effective. Social security has also taken hits – although it sure is a good thing we didn’t privatize Social security like Bush wanted to do. Private insurance costs far more and is less efficient. Certainly the GOP government ineffective corrupt and criminal – no wonder they don’t trust government.
I do not support mandating and subsidizing the purchase of health insurance – because I don’t want to be forced to participate in government run corporate welfare programs and because insurance has absolutely nothing to do with providing actual healthcare. It simply adds cost to the process and we are suffering now from the inefficiencies of that system, which include corporate bureaucrats rationing healthcare, restricting choice of doctors and supporting lavish executive salaries and retirement plans. All unnecessary to providing healthcare. I don’t hear the press or your buddies in the GOP pointing to these facts. Obama understand clearly and has stated that the only way to provide universal healthcare is with a single payer system.
Clearly you have not been paying attention and at best you are simply adding to the misinformation, omissions and exaggerations. If you want it to end – stop doing it. Try bringing real accountability to the table instead of partisan propaganda.
Comments are closed.