Obama’s opposition to individual mandate, Schwarzenegger’s support

Firedoglake dug up an old ad against an individual mandate and in support of a single-payer system. The interesting points made in it are that as a senator and candidate, Barack Obama was opposed to an individual mandate, which he now supports, and that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has long supported one. As the blog author also notes,

Further, it shows that the Individual Mandate is really a conservative idea put forth by people like Romney and the Governator.

Massachusetts’ individual mandate became law when former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was governor.

In other words, Obama is a typically cynical politician who adjusts his principles to the prevailing winds, and the GOP’s objections to an individual mandate, though valid, ring hollow without some mea culpas thrown in. “Some of our number supported or support this bad idea, but we now reject it.”

Advertisements

After the Bailouts, Washington’s the Boss – WSJ.com

Alex, I’ll take Government Interventionism for $40.

Today the U.S. government, directly or indirectly, underwrites nine of every 10 new residential mortgages, nearly twice the percentage before the crisis. Just last week, the Treasury said it would cover an unlimited amount of losses at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through 2012.

What is the definition of insanity?

Correct!

via After the Bailouts, Washington’s the Boss – WSJ.com.

Questions for James Cameron re: Avatar

via Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Time to Call Out James Cameron.

So, Jimmy Cameron, tell us….

Why is capitalism – you know, the economic system that allowed you to make Avatar – so bad?

Why are primitive societies – you know, the kind you manifestly do not live in – so morally righteous?

And why are the deaths of American fighting men – you know, the folks who are keeping at bay the bastards who would saw your open-minded, tolerant, liberal head off with a butter knife given half a chance — something you think ought to bring cheers from the audience?

Hey, Jimmy, you made your stupid movie. Now we’re going to make you make your case.

Maximum Achievable Damage by Mona Charen on National Review Online

Mona Charen (a white woman, in case the racial opinion profilers are keeping score) hit it on the head with this description of the health care bill efforts.

Actually, it was the sloppiest and most slapdash legislative process ever to accompany a major bill.

via Maximum Achievable Damage by Mona Charen on National Review Online.

She also pointed out this:

The Democrats will create, among others, the following new bureaus: The Grant Program for Health Insurance Cooperatives, the Telehealth Advisory Committee, the Community Based Medical Home Pilot Program, the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, and the Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman. In short, Democrats have done the maximum amount of damage to our system that they could manage under the circumstances.

Yeah, that’s JUST what we need.

‘Small stuff’ with your money

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa this morning called the earmarks sent to states in order to get senators’ votes on health care “reform” “small stuff.”

Harkin dismissed deals dubbed vote-buying by GOP senators as “small stuff” that distracted Americans from the primary focus of the overhaul bill.

Which exposes the totally out-of-touch way that pols, both Republican and Democrat, think in Washington. Sen. Harkin, this is tax money paid by U.S. workers, money that we would just as soon have kept ourselves. Don’t tell us that hundreds of millions of dollars is “small stuff” when many working Americans, even those who make a good living, are struggling to make ends meet thanks to failed policies and decisions of both Republicans and Democrats.

He also told interviewers that even if all of the goodies for Iowa, his state, were stripped from the bill, he would still vote for it. So, why doesn’t he practice fiscal responsibility and propose that all those goodies be stripped from the bill if it’s not going to make any difference for his vote?

Indy mandate, take 2

Markos Moulitsas at The Daily Kos blogs that

My take is that it’s unconscionable to force people to buy a product from a private insurer that enjoys sanctioned monopoly status.

Even when he’s right he’s wrong.

Unconscionable to force people to buy a product? Absolutely.

From a private insurer? Absolutely.

That enjoys sanctioned monopoly status? How can one insurer among many enjoy monopoly status? The insurance industry is just that–an industry made up of many corporations. There is no single insurance company dominating the market. They can’t even sell from one state to another one. The insurance industry is dominated by, well, insurance companies. Just like the auto industry is dominated by auto companies, etc.

You want an entity that enjoys “sanctioned monopoly status”? Try the U.S. federal government. If the House health care bill becomes law, there eventually will be a single-payer setup–something Moulitsas supports! That isn’t a “sanctioned monopoly status”? Until recently, that’s what the Senate bill was aiming at. Now it’s aiming at nothing in particular, but can still do considerable damage to the U.S. economy and Americans’ liberties if signed into law.

Yet, it’s good to see that liberals are pointing out the desperate inconsistency of the Senate bill. Unfortunately, they’re being desperately inconsistent themselves and proving themselves incapable of clear thought.

Now the Left opposes individual mandate

Obamacare’s individual mandate — which Barack Obama opposed as a candidate — requiring all U.S. households to purchase insurance has been opposed from the beginning of this debate by conservatives. The belief is that it is an infringement on individual liberty and unconstitutional to require people to purchase anything as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.

The thread in the Democrats’ and even some Republicans’ health care proposals has been that since people would be required to purchase health care, the government would step in and help those who couldn’t afford it on their own. This would be done through subsidies, vouchers, a government health insurance plan, co-ops, exchanges — something.

Now, however, the Senate plan has dropped the public option and other methods to get people cheap, government-linked health insurance.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell reports this morning, that has started to rally the Left against an individual mandate, since there would be no fallback for people required to buy insurance. Howard Dean’s Democracy for America said:

What they are actually talking about is something called the “individual mandate.” That’s a section of the law that requires every single American (to) buy health insurance or break the law and face penalties and fines. So, the bill doesn’t actually “cover” 30 million more Americans — instead it makes them criminals if they don’t buy insurance from the same companies that got us into this mess.

That’s all somewhat disingenuous, I think–the government as much as insurance companies helped get us into this mess–but it exposes the inconsistency of the Senate health care proposal and how its backers continue to mislead the American people.

All of this exposes the desire of the Democratic leadership to get something/anything passed on health care, no matter how convoluted or vulnerable it is to unintended consequences (discussed by Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner here).

In fact, as Don Wade of WLS-AM put it the other day, a president with a 44 percent approval rating is trying to get a Congress with a 28 percent approval rating to pass a health care bill that only 34 percent of the American people want.

While I don’t believe we should govern according to the whims of every poll, these numbers have been consistent enough to reveal what we have until, at least, the next congressional election:

A Democratic dictatorship.

Obama admits Dems’ health care reform would be a disaster

Barack Obama said this Tuesday after meeting with Democratic senators urging them to pass health care reform legislation as crafted by Democrats:

“From the discussions we had, it’s clear we are on the precipice of achievement that’s eluded Congresses, presidents for generations — an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American,” Obama said.

Really? That’s a stunning admission by the president. It’s good to see that he’s being honest, though.

The definition of precipice, according to Websters New World Dictionary, Fourth Edition, the official dictionary of The Associated Press, is

1. A vertical, almost vertical, or overhanging rock face; steep cliff.

2. A greatly hazardous situation, verging on disaster.

Perhaps the Teleprompter of the United States meant to say that we are nearing the summit of an achievement that’s eluded Congresses and presidents “for generations” (what? since 1994 when Hillarycare failed?). Maybe he just got his mountain climbing metaphors mixed up. The man’s probably still mentally exhausted from his 4,000-word speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all Americans for himself.

But the fact remains that he said that the health care bill whose passage he was urging would leave us in “a greatly hazardous situation, verging on disaster.”

He’s absolutely right.

For once, I can say I agree 100 percent with Barack Obama.

President Obama: ‘Last chance’ for health reform – – POLITICO.com

In a provocative argument designed to rescue his foundering health care plan, President Barack Obama will warn Senate Democrats in a White House meeting Tuesday that this is the “last chance” to pass comprehensive reform.

Obama will contend that if it fails now, no other president will attempt it, aides said.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told POLITICO: “If President Obama doesn’t pass health reform, it’s hard to imagine another president ever taking on this Herculean task. For those whose life’s work is reforming health care, this may be the last train leaving the station.”

via President Obama: ‘Last chance’ for health reform – – POLITICO.com.

Well, yes, what president would want to do this much all at once? What president would be foolish enough to do so? Best way to approach this is to scratch what we’ve got on the floor and actually have a truly bipartisan effort.

This is another example, though, of Obama’s peering-into-the-abyss hyperbole. As if he is the only president who will be able to save health care in this country. His approach is the only one that will be good enough.

Bush W was a political hack. Obama is a self-centered amateur.

If we get the presidents we deserve, we’re a pretty lousy nation.

BTW, someone should give Pfeiffer the heads-up that the president doesn’t pass legislation, the Congress does. It’s in the Constitution or something like that.