How many uninsured? 47 million? 46 million? 30 million? 15 million?

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.

Continue reading “How many uninsured? 47 million? 46 million? 30 million? 15 million?”

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Stupak and Nelson: PLINOs?

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.

via Bart Stupak is either not very smart or he’s not very honest. There really is no other option | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.

Are Stupak and Nelson just Pro-Life In Name Only?

HELLO? WHITE HOUSE? ANYBODY LISTENING?

“Overall the president’s numbers have been between the mid and upper 40s since around Thanksgiving — they tend to get a little lower when health care becomes the primary focus, as it is now,” said Scott Rasmussen, the pollster.

HEY! OBAMA! IS THE COMMUNICATION GETTING ANY BETTER? HELLO?

via Polls: Obama’s Approval Dropping, Opposition Up to Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill.

Obama sucker punches GOP

Holding up the “health care summit” this coming Thursday as an example of how “bipartisan” he wants to be about health care, how he wants to hear GOP input, Barack Obama today delivers a sucker punch by releasing his own health care legislative proposal. Through the entire health care debate, he’s been talking about his own plan but has failed to actually release his own plan. Instead, he has allowed congressional Democratic leaders to control details of the debate.

According to this account in Politico, Obama is going to play the populist card (again) and propose government control over health insurance prices.

Government control over prices is a bad idea. It interferes with the free market regulation of prices. While it can theoretically keep prices from going higher, it can also keep them from going lower. We in Illinois have seen how governmental monkeying around with utility prices has made a mess. When a ban on price hikes of several years was about to expire, utility companies warned customers that their prices would rise to match where they should have been over the past several years. Customers howled, so the state government again slammed a cap on prices.

Price control also means the government gets to decide how much it costs to run an insurance company.

This is not just a bad move for health care. It’s a bad move for freedom. Plus, it’s a game-changer at the very last moment of the health care debate. It also indicates that, as has been commented, the White House is just making it up as it goes along.

Over the past few months, the White House has been bellyaching that the American people just don’t understand how good these health care proposals will be for them. There has been a “communications problem.” Sorry, but the communications problem is that the White House hasn’t been listening to the American people. We don’t want what you’re proposing. Turn power in the health care sector back to the consumer, don’t gather more of it for the government.

This latest proposal of Obama is nothing but another step toward a fascist government.

Obama responds to C-SPAN

C-SPAN president and founder Brian Lamb has offered his network’s services to Barack Obama for live coverage of “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings” involving the final health care bill. The Senate and House bills need to be reconciled before going back to each house for final votes.

Lamb is making the offer due to Obama’s pledge during the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president that all health care bill negotiations would be done in the open:

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are,” Obama said at a debate against Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008.

Clinton, while First Lady, had conducted her process for health care reform in the early 1990s largely in secret, one of the factors leading to its downfall.

Rancho Miller, through its many highly placed sources (Hi, mom!!), has obtained a rough draft of what we are assured is Obama’s response to C-SPAN.

Dear Brian,

First, let me congratulate you on your contribution to reality TV. Although I don’t find C-SPAN as precipitously enervating as, say, “American Idol,” I’m sure it serves some function for somebody, just not me, because, as you know, I am president and I am busy.

I appreciate your offer of C-SPAN for televising health care negotiations. Unfortunately, most of the work has already been done and what would be televised would be fairly boring to the American people. We just need to tighten up some language, such as how we will force all Americans to buy health insurance and what punishments we should enact on them if they don’t. I believe, and I think I speak for myself, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, that these negotiations would be of no interest to the people and that you would be better situated by airing “American Idol” auditions.

As for my pledge during the 2008 debate against now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that there would be open and transparent negotiations on health care legislation, let me be clear on one thing (and please imagine me pointing pinchy fingers and thumb at you as I say this): That was then and this is now. That was not just the last hit for the Monkees. This is the way it is. I was trying to position myself precipitously as being different than Hillary Clinton, besides the fact that she’s allegedly a girl and I’m definitely a guy, as witnessed by the pics of my pecs published in several check-out lane magazine racks. That was done to get the Democratic nomination for president. Once I was elected president, all bets were off. Notice that I didn’t keep a promise by posting the stimulus bill for 48 hours on the World Wide Web before signing it. What? You expected me to then keep my pledge to make health care negotiations public? You’re a Lamb being led to water if you think that.

In addition, we need to look at the meanings of the words I used. First, when I said I wanted to bring all parties together, I meant it. Unfortunately, the Communist Party and Green Party have declined to send representatives to the negotiations, so obviously, we can’t fulfill that part of my promise.

Also, when I said we would not negotiate behind closed doors, I meant that we would negotiate behind closed doors. I don’t know where that “not” came from. I suspect it was left over from the Bush Administration.

When I then said that I wanted to broadcast these negotiations on C-SPAN, I meant … well, actually, I figured by the time the whole thing rolled around, people wouldn’t care about what I said then, such as that I was opposed to an individual mandate. I, as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was correct. No one except the tea baggers cares, and who cares about what they care about? Obviously, the American people didn’t notice that I fumbled the oath of office when I became president of the United States and thought I actually swore to defend the Constitution. Hah. Again, I say, hah. I am a politician. Politicians lie. I didn’t win the Nobel Truth Prize, after all.

Finally, the American people don’t need to know what their choices are. They need to line up and do what they’re told. That’s what Bill Ayers said That’s what I learned in my community organizing days. We know what’s best for them. If I cared what they thought or what the polls said, then I wouldn’t be doing my job as president or as Nobel Peace Prize winner.

So, Brian, keep up the good work, whatever it is that you do. We’ll remember you the next time it’s time for handing out trillions of dollars. I hope you have good health insurance, too, because, of course, you can keep it. Until you can’t. But that will be then, and this is now.

Respectfully,

Nobel Peace Prize winner and President Barack Obama, Esq.

UPDATE: This video was posted. Barack Obama responded by saying that he had “no idea who that man in the computer is.”

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.”

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.

No GOP proposals until now, AP claims from an alternate reality

The Associated Press, historically a great news service, tipped its hand Tuesday by letting through a story with wild-eyed inaccuracy, claiming in its lead that Republicans until now haven’t come up with any of their own health care proposals.

The story by Erica Werner says that

After months spent criticizing Democrats’ health overhaul plans, House Republicans have produced a draft proposal of their own. It’s much shorter and focuses on bringing down costs rather than extending coverage to nearly all Americans.

Actually, Republicans produced a “draft proposal of their own” as far back as May. That’s when Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Rep. Devin Nunes of California and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin offered their own version of health care reform, “Patients’ Choice Act.” It was introduced in both houses of Congress on May 20, 2009. Another bill was later offered by Rep. Tom Price of Georgia.

In his Sept. 8 address to a joint session of Congress, Barack Obama claimed that Republicans hadn’t offered any alternatives. He did this while Republicans held up copies of their health care bills. The news media couldn’t ignore this, at least not then. Apparently, they’re back to ignoring it, at least in whatever world Werner and Obama live in.

The AP inaccuracy was a result of one of the following:

  • Werner really didn’t know that more than one GOP bill had been introduced, albeit ignored. In that case, what’s she doing writing about national policy debates?
  • She knew, but wanted to mislead her readers. Hard to believe, coming from the great AP, but possible.
  • The story was rewritten at the editing level and Werner’s name left on it.

At any rate, it’s hard to understand how such an inaccuracy survived the editing process. Everybody makes mistakes, but this is a doozy.