Free Markets, Free People

Obama Tries To Spin Health Care Debate His Way

As I mention below, Americans know the difference between a real townhall and a staged event. Yesterday’s “townhall” with Obama was an obviously staged event, and evidence to that effect, plus the “Yes We Can” chorus, make that point rather obvious.

That said, there was a lot of nonsense thrown out here by Obama which he claimed was “the truth”. Of course the purpose of his political rally wasn’t discussion or debate – it was to lecture those there and deride the oppostion who wasn’t. Was it effective? My gut says no.

Interestingly enough, USA Today did a bit of a fact check on what Obama offered yesterday:

• “Under the reform we’re proposing, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

Not necessarily. In an analysis of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that 10 million workers could lose employer-provided benefits and would have to find other insurance.

This continues to be a promise and it continues to be wrong regardless of how many times he says it. A) the bill, as Kathy Kiely of USA Today points out, doesn’t support it. B) he can promise whatever he wants but unless the legislation agrees the promise is moot. And right now, as noted, the legislation does not support Obama’s promise.

• “Insurance companies basically get $177 billion of taxpayer money to provide services that Medicare already provides.”

About 10.2 million Medicare recipients are in Medicare Advantage. Under that program, the government pays insurers a set amount per Medicare beneficiary. Obama ridiculed it as costly and redundant, but the plan provides additional benefits, such as vision, dental and hearing, to seniors and helps coordinate health care for those with chronic conditions, says Robert Zirkelbach at the trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans.

People under medicare almost all have a “medigap” supplemental policy that covers what Medicare doesn’t cover. Who is spreading disinformation in this particular case? In his desire to demonize the insurance industry, he ridicules coverage that is actually helpful to seniors as “costly and redundant”. That won’t sell among the senior population that knows better and will thus make the rest of his message suspect to them.

• “The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for ‘death panels’ that will basically pull the plug on Grandma. … (T)he intention. .. was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready, on their own terms. … (O)ne of the chief sponsors of this bill originally was a Republican … (Sen.) Johnny Isakson from Georgia.”

Isakson issued a press release saying Obama misused his name. A provision he attached to a Senate health care bill would allow seniors to obtain help in formulating a living will something Isakson said is different from House language. The House bill would require Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling sessions, but it would not mandate that anyone use the benefit.

There’s an even simpler point here – there is no Senate bill at this point, and Senator Isakson doesn’t write or offer amendments to House bills. The section in question is strictly a House bill section written by Democrats and offered by Democrats.

• “AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, OK?”

The AARP issued a press release to make it clear that it has not endorsed any particular health care proposal. “Indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate,” AARP said.

The president and his staff would love to wave this off as a slip of the tongue, but in reality it was said purposefully to bolster the credibility of the legislation to seniors, who Democrats have identified as the voting bloc most unsure of it. This was calculated to do just that. Any good media doctor knows that more will hear the claim than will hear the denial. And that’s precisely what the administration is hoping for. Pure disinformation given for a specific political reason. Most people would call that propaganda.

So this is what the administration offers in answer to the real, visceral and organic protests that have sprung up all over the country – as staged show with softball questions by likely plants which allows the administration to attempt to reshape the message even while it uses half-truths, distortions and outright disinformation to do so.



21 Responses to Obama Tries To Spin Health Care Debate His Way

  • I really liked the line about “I have not said i was a single payer supporter.” I cant wait for the utube clip right next to the one where he says he is… lol

  • The issue is still very much in doubt, but it’s looking brighter for those of us who aren’t keen to have the same outfit that (mis)manages the Post Office managing our health care.  For all the yap I hear about how smart TAO is, when he doesn’t have TOTUS, he comes across as sort of a stammering idiot.  Quite aside from mocking the Post Office – an arm of the government HE HEADS! – he reminded people in stark terms of just how inefficient the government almost always is.  And he stammered and stuttered and “ummed” and “ahhed” his way through that answer to boot.

    All the nanny-staters have in this debate is empty promises of health care nirvana and demonization of their opponents*.  They have no facts and no rational argument to make that we should hand over our health care to Uncle Sugar.  But they also have MiniTru, the Congress, and TAO.  It’s going to be a tough fight.


    (*) Saw some dimwit on Fox News this morning claiming that people against the health care takover are paid by insurance companies and drug companies.  Guess she missed the memo about how the pharm industry is ponying up BIG TIME to SUPPORT this monstrosity!

  • It’s interesting to see even the media picking apart the proposal and expressing doubts about (and even outright challenging) the President’s repeated claims.  We are actually at a point where there is a real possibility that Obamacare will not pass, and that the drive to get it passed will do significant damage to his reputation and to his party in 2010 and 2012.  Obama is wearing out his welcome with his constant media appearances, he is wearing out his credibility among independents with these dog and pony shows, and his party and their supporters are wearing out the nation’s patience with their standoffish, boy-who-cried-racist attitude.  More and more I feel as if this will cost the Democrats far too much politically, even if it passes.

  • I have a perfect Quote of the Day for you:

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: “I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. I mean. If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”
    Isn’t the Post Office in the hole 7 Billion Dollars?  Oops.

    • I’m going to assume he wasn’t reading from his teleprompter when he said that. This is just more evidence of the lie of the articulate, intelligent Obama. Aside from that being a very good argument why government should not be allowed into the healthcare market, it conveniently overlooks the fact that UPS and Fedex are NOT allowed to compete directly with the Post Service. Federal law prohibits private mail carriers.

  • Also the post office isnt exactly brain surgery.

  • The post office is an excellent example of how public and  private institutions coexist side by side with each other and give Americans more choice.
    Detractors say that a public plan would put the private insurance companies out of business. NONESENSE
    Has the Post office put Fed Ex and UPS out of business?  Of course not. 
    It just gives all Americans another choice of how we want to send our packages.
    That’s good for everyone.
    America has a long history of public-private entities coexisting side by side and complimenting each other
    public education and private schools
    public universities and private universities
    public roads  and toll roads
    public transportation and private transportation
    public property and private property
    public libraries and private book stores.
    pubic hospitals and private hospitals
    medicare and private insurance

    In every case the public option exists right alongside the private option
    Rather than drive private options out of business, the public option
    gives all Americans another choice

    Time for a public option in private insurance to give us ONE MORE CHOICE.

    • “The post office is an excellent example of how public and  private institutions coexist side by side with each other and give Americans more choice”

      Um. No, it isn’t. Federal law prohibits sending mail through anything but the U.S. Postal Service. It is a government-run monopoly, and a poorly run one at that. All of your other examples survive only by government subsidy, not on a commercial basis, and most are poorly run as well.

    • Okay, fine. Let’s assume that you are right, and what Obama said here was intellectually honest (which it is not):

      Another legitimate concern, he said, was whether a public insurance plan he favors would overwhelm the private insurance system. Obama said it should not.

      “If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine,” he said. “It’s the post office that’s always having problems.”

      So if the Post Office is always having problems and the private sector is doing fine, why in God’s name would you want to create another, albeit much bigger, post office? How much more money do we really need to waste?

  • You know, from an abstract political sense, it seems like he ought to be solely focusing on cap-and-trade. He’s spending immense amounts of political capital… to pass bills in the House. He blew a wad to get cap-and-trade past the House, now he’s blowing a good deal of the rest of it to get health care past the House. Thank goodness none of them seem to have noticed that getting a bill past the House and making it impossible to get it past the Senate in the process means you did less than nothing.

  • But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.
    There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

  • Picture health care providers going postal.

  • No way Jose…I don’t agree with Obama’s health care idea…it stinks and it’s completely unfair to us hard working CITIZENS.

  • Obama is angling for the “Whopper of the Year Award” (and I don’t mean hamburgers)

  • At what point is someone going to call him out on the “8% payroll tax” in the House Bill? Considering that the AVERAGE company currently expends a number equal to 11% of its total payroll just on health insurance, the question is not whether companies will abandon private health insurance for employees, but how quickly they can get the paperwork through. (By the way, that 11% number is from the Department of Labor. You would think these morons would check their own stats before writing a bill, but I guess that’s too much to ask.)

  • If I take a step back and view the current entropy,  I’m struck that it wasn’t this bad in 1994 (just before the Republicans ended 40 years of Democrat rule in the House) and it wasn’t this bad in 2006 (just before the Democrats took back the House).
    Frankly, ObamaCare is shaping up to be a “Party Killer”.  The only remaining question is whether the Republicans can get their act together to take advantage of the situation.

  • “The post office is an excellent example of how public and  private institutions coexist side by side with each other and give Americans more choice.”
    Oh, yeah?  Well, I choose not to pay for it.

  • Obama Lied.  Grandma Died.