Additional reaction to Obama’s speech last night on healthcare to Congress.
Obama is living in fiscal fantasy land. The last “spending trigger” for Medicare was simply ignored by Congress and then the law that contained the trigger to cut spending was simply changed so the trigger no longer existed. It has happened time and time again with any spending trigger, for decades and decades in Washington, including all the way back to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, the great spending containment law that passed in the mid 1980s.
Everyone knows that Congress cannot cut Medicare. Everyone knows that this means it adds to the deficit. Everyone except Obama. Again, the Democrats are grasping at illusions because that is all they have left from ObamaCare. Who really believes that “fraud and abuse” savings will fund the lion’s share of a $1 trillion plan. It is laughable.
The Heritage Foundation lists numerous spurious claims made by the President in last night’s speech. One of the claims they cite:
OBAMA: “That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.”
THE FACTS: No states require all adults, let alone all citizens, to carry auto insurance. Only those who choose to exercise their privilege to drive are required to purchase auto insurance. Even with that requirement, many still don’t. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a federal individual mandate for health insurance would be unique and unprecedented because it would “impose a duty on individuals as members of society” and would “require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated” by the government. According to President Barack Obama HHS nominee Dr. Sherry Glied: “Developing a system to promptly identify and penalize scofflaws will take effort and ingenuity, particularly in our diverse and mobile country. It may require a degree of intrusiveness and bureaucracy that some will find unpalatable.”
Sarah Palin is “calling Obama out”
After all the rhetoric is put aside, one principle ran through President Obama’s speech tonight: that increased government involvement in health care can solve its problems.
Many Americans fundamentally disagree with this idea. We know from long experience that the creation of a massive new bureaucracy will not provide us with “more stability and security,” but just the opposite. It’s hard to believe the President when he says that this time he and his team of bureaucrats have finally figured out how to do things right if only we’ll take them at their word.
Our objections to the Democrats’ health care proposals are not mere “bickering” or “games.” They are not an attempt to “score short term political points.” And it’s hard to listen to the President lecture us not to use “scare tactics” when in the next breath he says that “more will die” if his proposals do not pass.
Stephen Hayes on Obama’s tort reform nod:
Now Obama says he’s going to study the issue. "I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today," he said.
That would be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, whose resume includes eight years as director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.
So Obama has chosen a former industry lobbyist to run tort reform.
Why are people cynical about health care reform?
Philip Klein at The American Spectator:
Obama needs to begin the process of getting liberals to accept less out of health care legislation if he wants to get something passed, even if it means giving up his coveted government option. In one sense, he did that last night, by telling the left that the government-run plan was not the only part of his proposal, and they should be open to compromises, such as the creation of non-profit co-ops. But while liberals are happy this morning, it isn’t because they’re willing to accept such a compromise, it’s because he once again dodged the issue by maintaining his support for the government plan.
President Obama’s very big, incredibly important, game changing speech-to-end-all-speeches on health care (sic) cam across as panicky, too high pitched, and schoolyard bullyish. The president’s theme was obvious early on: Nothing that was said against his plan in August had merit and certainly nothing that came up at the townhalls was legitimate.
And my friend Art Smith made a good point last night:
The President wants to provide affordable insurance to those who can’t afford it. He presents a public option as what appears to be a “temporary” solution until a permanent tax-credit based solution with insurance exchanges can be implemented (in four years, supposedly). No government take-over. Mind you, Social Security started with similar promises (yes, you guessed it, I would favor eliminating Social Security as well). I also want to see those who can’t afford insurance have a reasonable option. Tax-credits sound like a good start… why can’t we do that right now?