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“Obama: Blah, Blah, Blah”

September 10, 2009
MichaelSSmithII

SCHotline Contributing Editor

By Michael S. Smith II

In his second address before the Congress, President Obama received a standing ovation pursuant to one of his opening remarks in which the president noted he is “determined” to be the last president to address the need for health care reform.

Well, of course he did. None of the members of Congress present for the president’s address care to deal with the another debate like the one that’s erupted since the term ObamaCare was coined — ever again.

America is, according to the president, “The only democracy … the only wealthy nation on earth that allows such hardship for its people.”

Hmm. What about America’s healthcare system being the envy of England, Canada, France, and so on?

The president swiftly went on to demonstrate his speech writers’ sophomoric rhetorical proclivities, employing the logically fallacious technique of pointing to extremes — offering a story about a man who was refused treatment for a life-threatening condition because he lost his insurance befits just before he was scheduled to undergo an operation — to illustrate just how bad the reality confronting Americans is, according to him.

“Put simply: Our health care problem is our deficit problem,” Pres. Obama pronounced. (That was rich when taking into account that he later said the policies of the Bush administration represent our deficit problems today.)

Since health care represents one-sixth of the economy, the president said he believes it is best to build on what works, while doing away what does not. One wonders if he was referring to a plan to do away with those evil doctors who like to remove childrens’ tonsils in the interest of garnering profits, not the interest of ensuring such children who may need tonsilectomies receive the best care to resolve issues which they are confronted by.

The president then characterized the political atmosphere as one controlled by “Unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope for compromise.” Rich again considering his subsequent exercises in Bush-bashing.

“Now is the season for action,” a time, according to president “to bring the best ideas of both parties together.” (See sentence 2 in the previous paragraph.)

“Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have,” he assured insured Americans.

The president then added — to the delight of many — insurance companies, meantime, will no longer be allowed to deny coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

“No one should go broke because they get sick,” he exclaimed in allusion to a sentiment previously expressed by John McCain. The president then added that before his plan kicks in — in “four years” — those Americans without coverage will be provided special access to affordable insurance benefits.

Under the president’s plan insurance companies will be required to cover preventive care. “That’s what Americans who have health insurance can expect from this plan.”

What about those who will have to rely on the “public option,” Mr. President? Try as you may to convince America you intend to remove a “public option” from your plan, the fine print indicates you’re being a bit disingenuous (i.e. Your not-for-profit exchange will prove tantamount to a public option).

“If you lose your job, or change your job, you’ll be able to get coverage” from, as the president put it, a cooperative exchange that will provide various “affordable options.”

“We will provide you with short-term care that will protect you from financial ruin,” between now and the time when his plan will be put into effect four years from now.

Mr. President, what about after that timeline? Can you guarantee our nation’s creditors won’t leave us in financial ruin in lieu of your profligate plans?

The president then went on to depict the decisions of young people who decide not to purchase insurance as “irresponsible,” rather than what is usually reflective of a prudent cost-benefit analysis on their parts. To combat this he advised he will legally bind all people to purchase insurance, much as states require drivers to do so.

Obama waxed Orwellian as he noted “Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part.” (Of course American will all do our part when doing otherwise amounts to a criminal act!)

“I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. … I just want to hold ’em accountable.”

The president then restated he will create a not-for-profit entity to provide a public insurance option in the form of an “affordable options” exchange. According to the president, those who cannot afford to pay for insurance will not actually be required to buy into this exchange.

Oddly, however, earlier he said that everyone will be required to carry some form of insurance. If those who cannot afford to purchase private policies will not have to participate in what will be a public option, what other option will they have access to in order to abide by the national mandate for all Americans to carry some form of coverage?

According to the president, he wants to enact a plan that will not add “one dime to our deficits — now or into the future.”

This statement was followed up by some loudly lauded Bush-bashing.

One could then hear the printing presses used to produce dollars crank up as the president claimed “Not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.”

President Obama then went on to note “hundreds of billions of dollars” in “wasteful spending” are subsidizing insurance companies’ bottom lines. To combat this issue, the president advised “We will create an independent commission … charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.”

Blah, blah, blah … Something about tax credits …

Forty five minutes after his opening remarks the president’s still relatively nonspecific stump speech concluded. This observer was still curious about what the president actually plans to present in the way of finalized policy proposals. After all, the president spent a great deal of time trying to convince Americans that Republicans and special interests groups are deceiving them when it comes to their portrayals of ObamaCare, but he spent far too little time providing any real specifics of what he intends to propose.

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