Sunday, September 13, 2009

President Obama's Speech on Health Care

I have been wanting to write about last week's presidential speech on health care ever since the speech. It was a busy week. I'm sure others have commented on it and I'm sorry to be late in joining the conversation.

I found the president's speech to be very disingenuous, to say the least. Here was the first line that bothered me.

First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. (Applause.) Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.

Well, no. Nothing would require YOU to change what you have but it could be changed FOR you. If employers can save a whole lot of money by paying a comparatively low fine to cancel your health care coverage, you very well may end up on the public plan.

Next problematic statement:

Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost.
Really. I have not heard a single member of Congress say that they want to kill all reform at any cost. Is there any member of Congress that does not think SOME reform is needed? I don't think so.

And then this doozy:

The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple. (Applause.)

President Obama knows very well that people are concerned about the prospect of health care rationing--- and, in particular, rationing based on the supposed worth of an individual to the society as a whole. He has advisers who have written bizarre ideas like the suggestion that Alzheimer's patients should not be entitled to health care. And the fact that an unelected panel would decide who gets what care makes us all even more concerned about this possibility. Obama's belittling of this concern is very troubling to me. He knows what our worries are. Yet I do not hear him saying that the elderly and disabled would be given the exact same quality of care as a healthy person in their prime. No. He is not saying that. Instead he mocks his critics by presenting their arguments as a caricature that is laughable...."killing off senior citizens" He is pretending that our concerns about rationing are absurd. And still he does not deny there will be rationing. I find it very manipulative.

Then the President stated:

There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
It was at this point that Congressman Wilson shouted out, "You lie." I have to admit I was sympathetic to Congressman Wilson because the same words were echoing in my head.

There is no provision in the bill that requires medical personnel to confirm that a person is a citizen. There are therefore no consequences to billing for an illegal alien. Illegal aliens will be covered as a result. Obama knows this. And you could argue that they should be covered. But to say that they will not be is just plain dishonest on the President's part.

And then this:
And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place. (Applause.
Oh, please!! Federal dollars will pay for abortion. Yeah, you can say that the payment is coming from the premiums or whatever smoke and mirrors you want to use, but the American people are not stupid. Federal dollars are federal dollars and the president is misleading when he declares otherwise. If you want the details of the long and the short of it see Factcheck's explanation here.

I would also refer you to the following sites with more detailed explanations.

Thanks for letting me vent. I found it ironic that some were so upset by Congessman Wilson's outburst, but did not seem the least bothered by the misleading and deceptive statements by Obama that triggered the outburst.

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