From “BFD” to silence by Biden and Obama at the DNC. Why the change? Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute takes a look.
Barack Obama was way off in the beginning when he bought the common wisdom and said that 47 million Americans were without health insurance. As Sally Pipes has shown, only about 8 million of those actually want health insurance and can’t get it. The others either aren’t American citizens, are eligible for government programs and haven’t used them, simply don’t want to buy health insurance or were counted as being without insurance because they changed jobs and may have gone a day without coverage.
But the Ø has revised his numbers downward over the past year, going from 47 million last July to “nearly” 46 million in August, to 30 million in September and, finally, to 15 million in his now-infamous 17-minute answer to a question asked by a Celgard employee in Charlotte, N.C.
At a July 22, 2009, press conference:
This is not just about the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all.
In a New York Times op-ed that ran on Aug. 15, 2009:
I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is.
In a joint address to Congress on Sept. 9, 2009:
There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.
At the Celgard facility on April 2, 2010:
Here’s the bottom line. Number one is that we are the only — we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 15 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance.
That “last week” would refer to the passage and signing of the health care bill.
The other option for Congressman Stupak is even more distasteful. Maybe he was playing games all along? We have seen that routine before when it comes to congressional Democrats and abortion funding in the Obama health care package. Remember the principled stand against abortion funding taken by Senator Ben Nelson? That stand led to the now famous Cornhusker Kickback. After securing his home state pork, it became clear that Senator Nelson was never really standing as much on principle as he was on politics.
Are Stupak and Nelson just Pro-Life In Name Only?
Joel Comm, an opponent of the ill-advised health care “reform” being shoved down America’s throat, tweeted this argument:
Only a corrupt government would shove through legislation that the majority of Americans are opposed to
I think it’s politically stupid for them to do this, and I share the sentiment, but ultimately you can’t rule by polls (or Poles).
What if a government was trying to pass legislation that was good for America, but the majority of Americans opposed it for, say, racist or immoral reasons? Would it then be wrong for the government to pass it despite public opposition? There’s a mechanism called “elections” that’s supposed to take care of bad government. (Whether these “election” things do their job is another argument.)
I do believe this is more about control than health care. It’s been that way since Bismarck. Those in favor of government-dominated health care even admit it:
Whoever provides medical care or pays the costs of illness stands to gain the gratitude and good will of the sick and their families. The prospect of these good-will returns to investment in health care creates a powerful motive for governments and other institutions to intervene in the economics of medicine. Political leaders since Bismarck seeking to strengthen the state or to advance their own or their party’s interests have used insurance against the costs of sickness as a means of turning benevolence to power. Similarly, employers often furnish medical care to recruit new workers and instill loyalty to the firm. Unions and fraternal societies have used the same means to strengthen solidarity. On more narrowly commercial grounds, insurance companies also gain advantage from serving as middlemen. To be the intermediary in the costs of sickness is a strategic role that confers social and political as well as strictly economic gains.” — Paul Starr in The Social Transformation of Social Medicine, 1982.
Starr is a Princeton U professor of sociology and public affairs who advised Hillary Clinton during her effort to implement universal health care.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa and talker Glenn Beck are upset the health care vote apparently will take place on Sunday, which King calls the “Sabbath.”
“They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God,” King said on Beck’s radio program Thursday, the Hill reports.
Beck chimed in, “Here is a group of people that have so perverted our faith and our hope and our charity, that is a — this is an affront to God.”
Yeah, well, not really. The Sabbath is the seventh day. Nowhere in the Bible–although Beck’s a Mormon, meaning he has extra scripture–does it say the first day is the Sabbath. And not all Christians observe a pre-Easter season called “Lent.” And if the people calling for this Sunday session aren’t believers, then why should they care, anyway? So of all the procedural objections, this is perhaps the lamest conservatives have come up with. They would have gotten more sympathy by pointing out that the session will conflict with NCAA basketball tournament games.
Rep. John Stupak, a Democratic pro-lifer, is telling National Review Online that Democratic leadership in the House has sank to new lows when it comes to abortion and health care.
What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”
So if money for abortion is included in the health care bill, that means fewer people will eventually need health care, thus lowering costs later.
If this is an accurate reflection of what House Dems are telling Stupak, then it’s the most chillingly cynical takes on this issue I’ve yet heard. “Kill them and then we’ll save money down the road.” This reveals that what this is about for Democrats is not helping people, but taking power.
George Orwell would have been in awe of Barack Obama, who tops his previous doublespeak every time he opens his mouth.
Obama will unveil his health care legislative plan this afternoon. His remarks are breathtaking in their contempt for the intelligence of the average American.
I don’t believe we should give government bureaucrats or insurance company bureaucrats more control over health care in America.
Yet this is exactly what the Democratic health care legislation will do on both counts.
I believe it’s time to give the American people more control over their own health insurance.
Yet your legislation will take away that control in an unprecedented way.
I don’t believe we can afford to leave life-and-death decisions about health care to the discretion of insurance company executives alone.
Note the word “alone.” Need to extend that power to government bureaucrats.
I believe that doctors and nurses like the ones in this room should be free to decide what’s best for their patients.
They may be the only ones left after government starts determining health care costs and drives the rest of the medical profession out of the profession or overseas.
The proposal I’ve put forward gives Americans more control over their health care by holding insurance companies more accountable.
It makes them partners with the government, which is showing itself in this action to be completely unaccountable to the American people.
It builds on the current system where most Americans get their health insurance from their employer.
Which is one of the problems. Third-party payment shields the consumer patient from the real cost of their medical care.
If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
Unless your employer, which is what this new plan is supposedly built on, drops that plan.
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.
Unless your doctor leaves the profession or shutters his/her practice due to lack of proper compensation. Or unless a government plan or government-approved plan doesn’t want to send patients to that doctor.
This guy just doesn’t get it, and I’m beginning to think he never has.
A response to my post “The law of unintended health care consequences” was so interesting, I wanted to re-post it and give my response in that fresh post:
Law of Unintended Consequences? Is that like when someone who opposes universal health cares gets tossed out by a money-grubbing insurance company? Or their wingnut co-op plan goes belly up? And they find themselves crying to the gubmint to help them? That’s called irony.
No, the law of unintended consequences is when you think you’re doing something that will result in benefits, but don’t or can’t anticipate other results that are not beneficial. Kind of like introducing animals to a region where they have no natural predators. They tend to get out of control, such as the European sparrow or Japanese beetles. Another such example was Legionnaires’ disease. An “improved” venting system was put in place in a hotel that hosted an American Legion conference, and the participants ended up getting sick because of a bacillus that became harmful when spread in water droplets. (Look under “Mystery solved” here.)
As for “money-grubbing insurance companies,” while I don’t like health insurance companies, they are far, far down on the list of industrial profits, number 86, to be exact. Here’s a link.
The entire insurance business would be a lot better off without mandates, as well. Plus, most people who are insured likely won’t get “tossed out” because they’re insured through their employer. Those deals typically can’t exclude based on pre-existing conditions.
I’m not sure which “wingnut co-op plan” you’re talking about. If it’s Samaritan Ministries, which I work for and am a proud member of, that “wingnut co-op plan” has been in business for 15 years and represents 14,000 households. There are two other health care sharing plans as well: MediShare and Christian Healthcare Newsletter. Samaritan alone shares about $3 million a month in medical needs. We are growing at a rapid pace, as well, as Christians strive to get out from under health insurance and government dependence.
Your argument, also, is based on something that hasn’t happened. We haven’t gone bellyup. And if we did, the “gubmint” would be the last institution I’d appeal to for help for my family. First I would look to our extended family for help, then to the church. I do not plan on accepting any Social Security payments or Medicare when I retire, even though I have been paying into it my whole working life. I don’t think it would be right for me to take money that was exacted from another person under threat of imprisonment.
At the health care summit on Thursday, Barack Obama will:
- Pinch his fingers together a lot.
- Purse his lips a lot.
- Pretend like he’s keeping his campaign promise to have open health care negotiations even though he’s only doing it after being called on the carpet about it and after the real “negotiations” (read: Democratic caucuses) are done.
- Say, “Let me be clear,” a lot and then not be clear.
- Say, “You will be able to keep your health plan and your doctor” a lot.
- Lie some more.
- And stumble and fumble around when something gets out of his control.
- Be generally useless because they’re scared to death of being called the “party of no,” even when it’s a good thing to say no to something bad.
- Let their minds wander off to how much more money they can spend so they won’t feel guilty about something.