Obama’s Michael Dukakis moment

posted at 9:28 am on June 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama got ABC to move their news division into the White House in order to make the big pitch for his egalitarian, everyone-gets-treated-equally ObamaCare push.  Instead, Obama fumbled into a Michael Dukakis moment that exposed him as a hypocrite.  ABC itself leads with Obama’s response that he wouldn’t stay within his own plan for his family:

President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["]

Oopsie!  So ObamaCare for thee, but not for me?  Hope and change, baby!

In 1988, Michael Dukakis blew a question about the death penalty when asked about whether he’d want it if his wife Kitty had been raped and murdered.  Dukakis said no, but addressed it clinical legalese rather than absorbing the opportunity to address the emotional impact of violent crime, and his candidacy cratered.  In this case, Obama did a reverse Dukakis.  He went with the emotional argument, and effectively rebutted his own proposal and its egalitarian purpose.  It’s a moment of sheer hypocrisy, caught in the modern amber of video.

If ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha, Malia, or Michelle, then it’s not good enough for America.  Instead of fighting that impulse, Obama should be working to boost the private sector to encourage more care providers, less red tape and expense, and better care for everyone.

Update: RCP has the video of the exchange.


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don’t forget Public School isn’t good enough for his kids either, yet he takes away Vouchers

jp on June 25, 2009 at 10:09 AM

I can’t beleive he didn’t lie, they would let him get away with it

jp on June 25, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Part 2 of the story about exempting unions:

Union workers enjoy some of the most extensive and costliest health benefits, and union officials complained their members would be unfairly burdened by a health care tax because their contracts cannot be changed quickly enough to avoid it.

Union members also represent one of the biggest and most powerful Democratic constituencies and their support of any health care reform proposal is viewed as essential to getting a bill passed in Congress.

Baucus has proposed the tax threshold on health care benefits be set higher than the cost of policies available to federal employees and he has proposed exempting until 2013 those plans negotiated as part of union contracts.

“It’s a means of making sure that unions are foursquare behind any reform bill that comes out,” said Henry Aaron, a health care policy expert at Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Critics of the Baucus proposal to exempt unions from a health care benefits tax said the exclusion could be used to lure into unions employees who are anxious to avoid the benefits tax.

Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute, said excluding union benefits is also practical.

“The reality is, unions are in the position where they are going to get hit the hardest on that tax, and they just can’t change it on a dime like everyone else,” Fronstin said.

Baucus is said to be considering a delay for everyone, not just unions.

“And there is precedent for that,” Fronstin said. “When the Clinton health plan was put on the table in 1993, the effective date was 1998. It was giving the industry time to implement whatever adjustments they needed to make.”

Buy Danish on June 25, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Would you rather he say that in fact everyone, rich and poor, will be forced into the government plan?

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Why shouldn’t those passing the bill be forced to be covered under it, after private insurance is no longer available to the public? Do you think congressional members will not receive preferential treatment?

a capella on June 25, 2009 at 10:11 AM

If ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha, Malia, or Michelle, then it’s not good enough for America.

So is it a Dukakis moment or the opposite? Of course any parent is going to go outside of the insurance system for the health of their child, nearly all would go outside the law if required when the issue is their child’s health.

We can’t have a public solution that covers every theoretical medical procedure that a wealthy person may elect to purchase.

We already have a market-based rationing of health services via HMO/EPO/PPO options along with elections for co-pays and deductibles.

If there is a government program, shouldn’t it be just the bare minimum? Shouldn’t it be aimed primarily at keeping the uninsured away from using the ER as their primary care service?

dedalus on June 25, 2009 at 10:11 AM

don’t forget Public School isn’t good enough for his kids either, yet he takes away Vouchers

jp on June 25, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Why would he want the hoi polloi around his seasoned kids?

WashJeff on June 25, 2009 at 10:11 AM

“If ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha, Malia, or Michelle, then it’s not good enough for America.”

There’s the narrative. Say it often. Say it loudly.

Rational Thought on June 25, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Let’s be clear about this:

- 250 million Americans are perfectly happy with their current health care/insurance.

- 20 million people, mostly young, don’t buy insurance because they are bulletproof, or would rather buy big screen televisions, or understand that they can go to the emergency room and get treatment for ‘free’ (I pay for it).

- 20 million illegal aliens don’t have insurance, and by some twisted logic, our laws say that they can go to the emergency room and get treatment for ‘free’ (I pay for it again).

- 5 million people have a legitimate problem getting insurance or proper medical treatment.

Where is the urgent need to socialize medicine, so that treatment for all is reduced, and government power grows?

Vashta.Nerada on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:03 AM
Ed’s saying that he wants our representatives to vote on issues as if they apply to them as well, not just us. Its easy to pass this bill if you know it will never apply to you, whether you are rich or poor. The rich can always get better things – cars, food, healthcare. But what you don’t want is someone voting for a plan that limits what you can get while they know they’re choices will never be limited.

mph on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Just imagine this turd, with his nose up in the air telling you that YOU have to go to the clinic and wait in line while HE goes to John Hopkins with his your checkbook.

Fixed

hindmost on June 25, 2009 at 10:13 AM

No Nurse Ratchet ministrations without union participation!!

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Basically, Obama has admitted that his plan would not provide “the very best care.”

Done.

drjohn on June 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Obama-care; not good enough for his family, not good enough for yours.

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Of course, ABC is leading with that story in an effort to maintain some shred of legitimacy. It won’t work. 99% of ABC News = partisan liberal hacks. Then there’s Jake Tapper, who asks tough questions of anybody.

Obama also talked about his grandmother, right? Did he say whether or not she got that hip replacement that she needed? Would the public plan cover hip replacements for people age 75+?

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Instead of fighting that impulse, Obama should be working to boost the private sector to encourage more care providers, less red tape and expense, and better care for everyone.

His pitch is a big lie That’s why he didn’t think of a coherent response. He had to push on down the lying path with his propaganda. He knows they will ration health care, he knows there is no way in hell our economy can pay for national health care, no way in hell around the fact that people my age aren’t going to be told “get out of the line for treatment” because you are too old and expensive. Change we can believe in.

Herb on June 25, 2009 at 10:16 AM

“But those union members serving under collective bargaining agreements would not be subjected to the tax, according to proposals under discussion.”
Buy Danish on June 25, 2009 at 9:59 AM

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

What a scumbag hypocrite crony blower this wad of narcissism from noone-knows-where is. The downfall of Barack Hussein Obama will be sweet to watch, no matter how painful it will be getting there. Like his Iranian wait-and-see policy, I predict he’ll go out with a whimper.

Western_Civ on June 25, 2009 at 10:16 AM

The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists

An ABC audience screener has just been called into the boss’ office…

batter on June 25, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Calm down folks after all Ole Tingly legs Mathews and his pal Olberdork are OK with this as is Peloosi, Reid, Durban, Kerry, and most of the Democrap crop of Senate Scum and House Whores that it won’t effect and they and the State Run Media will sell it to the 52 % uneducated/ illiterate/guilt ridden closet racists that voted the Won, The Pinnochio Presidente into orifice so all is well.

It will pass without spineless Republican major opposition and soon we will all have unicorns flying out our ass and free but crappy healthcare to boot!

Now thats’ real HOPE and CHANGE right there!

Tea Party anyone?

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

….let’s just sweep this under the rug with the rest of the ridiculous things Obama has said or done….there we go…you don’t remember any of this now, do you?

If the RNC needed it’s ammo dump refilled, then they have had a bonanza from heaven with these guys. How they can possibly LOSE in 2010 would be a head scratcher.

I mean, they could pwn Pelosi with her comments…Frank commercials showing his involvement in the housing collapse…Dodd…I mean, the list goes on and on. How about Rangle and his “mind your own g-damn own business” video over and over?

These guys are handing Steele all he needs to get the job done. Will he?

Thunderstorm129 on June 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Typical ELITIST.

“Do what I tell you to do; pay no attention to what I do.
Take what I give you because I am smarter than you.”

I’d love for ALL D.C. politicians to have the same health care options as regular Americans, no special perks. But when the inmates are in charge of the asylum, that will never happen.

rockbend on June 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Tea Party anyone?

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Hell, I’m thinking of something more along the lines of a wake.

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Why shouldn’t those passing the bill be forced to be covered under it, after private insurance is no longer available to the public? Do you think congressional members will not receive preferential treatment?

a capella on June 25, 2009 at 10:11 AM

That “after” qualifier you added there has nothing to do with what Obama said. And being a member of congress or the executive has nothing to do with what Obama said.

The question concerned people who can afford extra care (and members of congress are certainly not the only wealthy people out there), and Obama seemed to say those people will be able to afford the best care even if it’s not covered by the public plan. It just was an uncomfortable answer — which Ed seized on — because he was admitting that the public plan might not be as good as the best possible private plan. Which isn’t really surprising or wrong in any way.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Regarding Mrs. O, I assumed Chewbaccas went to veterinarians not regular doctors.

gregbert on June 25, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Where is the urgent need to socialize medicine, so that treatment for all is reduced, and government power grows?

Vashta.Nerada on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

The truth is, the “crisis in healthcare” is really a crisis in the overwhelming deficits being run up by Medicaid and Medicare. There are a lot of medical costs that are increasing at an alarming rate, but the private sector is already trying to correct that problem. More and more clinics are opening to provide things like flu shots. They’re even looking at building kiosks for certain health services.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Tea Party anyone?

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM

To heck with the tea party…too late for that…
it’s on to Bunker Hill

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 10:22 AM

If the opposition to Obamacare does not crank up commercials based around Obama’s gaffe, they are incompetent. This should spell the end of Obamacare.

james23 on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Overexposure finally DID HIM IN.

Sir Napsalot on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

If there is a government program, shouldn’t it be just the bare minimum? Shouldn’t it be aimed primarily at keeping the uninsured away from using the ER as their primary care service?

dedalus on June 25, 2009

At a projected cost of one trillion dollars (minimum) to cover 1/3 of the current uninsured, how many generations of your family’s future income are you willing to commit to that.
BTW, I am one of the uninsured right now and my answer to the public option question is threefold.
No.
Hell no.
Are you effing nuts?

SKYFOX on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Step 1: Geez Granny, you’re not feeling so well? Sorry to hear that.

Step 2: Getchur soylent, getchur soylent here! We got green AND yellow. Soylent soylent, getchur soylent!

Bishop on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Every single sentence is just seething with BS. For instance:

“People have made some pretty compelling arguments to me that if we want to have a system that drives down costs for everybody, then we’ve got to have healthier people not opt out of the system.”

OK President Barry, here’s how it works: Assume insurance companies make no profits. If this is true, premiums will equal the average yearly expense for care. The only way to decrease this number is to get people in the system who will cost less than average, i.e. healthy people. CLEARLY, this is NOT “driving down costs for everyone”; it is transferring money from the healthy to the unhealthy. It is FALSE that this will lower costs across the board.

His answers are riddled with crap like this. Will the public plan will be subsidized by the government? If yes, then he can’t talk about “keeping them honest” (referring to private insurers) since private insurers are at a disadvantage. If no, then what happens if there are big losses with the public plan? Can this thing “go out of business”? Surely the answer to that is no.

He just drives me insane.!@#$!@#

ggoofer on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

didn’t watch it. But later on round 2 during Night Line did anybody catch the comedy routine put on by Barry and Charlie. Somebody forward a YouTube clip of Obama’s “Now hold on Charlie!” before Charlie could get his strawman argument out in his attempt to attack from the right. It was identical to the planted question from HuffPo on Tuesday during his press conference. ABC is done as a source of information and the WH is not to be believed either. Fail.

DanMan on June 25, 2009 at 10:24 AM

? Do you think congressional members will not receive preferential treatment?

Isn’t it telling that when Canadian politicians get really sick, they come to America for treatment? On the Canadian taxpayer’s cash?

mjk on June 25, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Ed’s saying that he wants our representatives to vote on issues as if they apply to them as well, not just us. Its easy to pass this bill if you know it will never apply to you, whether you are rich or poor. The rich can always get better things – cars, food, healthcare. But what you don’t want is someone voting for a plan that limits what you can get while they know they’re choices will never be limited.

mph on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Congress can’t draft and vote on bills that serve the underprivileged? Since the public plan will be optional, it doesn’t “limit what you can get” unless you choose that limitation. Or unless it’s the best you can afford, in which case you weren’t going to get better coverage anyway.

The only difference between this and a program that serves only the truly underprivileged is that it will be available to a larger segment of the population than the bottom 1%. Let’s say it’s even available to half the population, as many of you fear. What does this have to do with this interview question? This question is about the *other* half. And the answer is that the other half, which is wealthy enough to afford even better care, will receive better care. Isn’t that what you want?

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Let them eat cake.

/and that ended well.

Sefton on June 25, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Where is the urgent need to socialize medicine, so that treatment for all is reduced, and government power grows?

Vashta.Nerada on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Asked and answered.

RegularJoe on June 25, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Liberals are always so predictable. We get the liberal utopia, they get the good stuff.

tarpon on June 25, 2009 at 10:26 AM

The truth is, the “crisis in healthcare” is really a crisis in the overwhelming deficits being run up by Medicaid and Medicare.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Exactly. It is about the money. Medicare is headed for bankruptcy, so they want to pay for it via a socialized medicine system where we pay more for less treatment, and the difference is sloughed off to medicare.

Just like amnesty. That isn’t about legitimizing illegals, it is about trying to find a way to keep social security from going bankrupt, by adding millions onto the payer side.

Vashta.Nerada on June 25, 2009 at 10:27 AM

It just was an uncomfortable answer — which Ed seized on — because he was admitting that the public plan might not be as good as the best possible private plan. Which isn’t really surprising or wrong in any way.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

I know we’re not allowed to call Dems hypocrites, but you really think it’s right for someone to design a healthcare plan that they admit will be inferior to their needs? That’s the sort of thinking that created our current public school system.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:27 AM

I can’t beleive he didn’t lie, they would let him get away with it

jp on June 25, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Yes. He must be really afraid of Michelle.

zmdavid on June 25, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Let me get this straight…

-Congress doesn’t have time to read the bills before they vote.

-Congress does not pay into Social Security.

-Congress and Unions will not be forced to use Obama’s “Public Health care Plan.

-Congress automatically voted themselves a raise this year.

-Obama says don’t worry you can keep your existing plan until they fail and I rescue you!

What could go wrong?

Atlanta Media Guy on June 25, 2009 at 10:28 AM

The issue goes beyond this particular situation. Everybody in the upper levels of government receive expansive, expensive, unique and special treatment in healthcare, pay, pay raises, pensions and everyday expenses, such as hair cuts, travel, etc.

We have passed the point in history in which Americans should be demanding that politicians are taken off of their pedestals and out of their limousines. They are supposed to be working for us, not serving as a bloated, self-serving aristocracy. I’d like to see a movement that takes away their ability to vote themselves pay raises and special privileges. They should be part of the Social Security system, not insulated in their own lavish gravy train. We need to take away their god-like status on special health care and put them back among the people they are supposed to be serving.

One last thing; Term limits!

Star20 on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Would you rather he say that in fact everyone, rich and poor, will be forced into the government plan?

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Elected officals are NOT Nobility.

If it is good enough for me then it is good enough for them.
If it is not good enough for them why is it good enough for me?

LincolntheHun on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Not quite. Dukakis never defended his wife regardless of this hypocricy. He did in engage in clinical legalese.
Therefore that makes Obama’s response, all the more pompus but honest.

RobCon on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Isn’t it telling that when Canadian politicians get really sick, they come to America for treatment? On the Canadian taxpayer’s cash?

mjk on June 25, 2009 at 10:24 AM

That is a completely different point that has nothing to do with what Obama said here. America has always had better health care at the top rung, which is why people flock here for the best treatment. That may be because universal health care changes the incentive structure for doctors, and as a result there are fewer specialists and compensation is lower so there are fewer great doctors.

But it certainly has nothing to do with what Obama said, which in exact agreement with the concern you noted: he admitted that those who can afford it will still be able to get the very best health care for their family.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Or something along the lines of Tehran except with our right to bear arms still intact?

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Let them suck hind teat!

Can you picture the graphics that inspires?

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Fraud, liar, hypocrite, none of them even begin to describe this F#$&.

Mr. Grump on June 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

caught in the modern amber of video

Does this mean that, in a few million years, future political scientists, in their awe of the legend of The One, will attempt to extract his DNA from the amber and reconstitute him for all to see and admire, only to watch his terrible clone wreak havoc by chewing up their future Ford Explorers and then attempting to convince them that he can rebuild them more efficiently with his future Gubmint Motors? And then rip through the fences of modern healthcare and unleash the hell of socialized medicine, thought to be extinct for millions of years?

Then, when it may already be too late, some enlightened scientist will say “I was overwhelmed by the liberal power of The One; but I made a mistake, too. I didn’t have enough respect for that power and it’s out now. The only thing that matters now are the people we love, they’re out there on Obamacare where people are dying.”

Dude, you gotta skip the “amber” analogies… they make me loopy.

Changucopia on June 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

So how long until Caligula appoints his horse to the senate?

Sefton on June 25, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Let’s see,
you have the press on their knees for you.
Prime time slot picked for you.
All the questions picked for you.
No dissent from opposing views.
You spend almost 60% of the alloted time talking and
pushing your point of view and you still drop the ball.

If I didn’t know better,I would think this guy has no real experience and was just some community organizer or something.

These two lead in paragraphs set the tone this morning for how much of a failure the paparazzi President was last night:

ABC ObamaCare Special Turns Into Presidential Filibuster
President Obama uses network primetime special and overtime ‘Nightline’ coverage to talk for more than 45 minutes of combined 75-minute programs, revealing nothing new.

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090625043708.aspx

While Obama had to field some difficult questions — from the audience and ABC — he faced no Republican critics of his proposals. The network also allowed him to dominate the program with long-winded and vague answers. Out of the 75 minutes the network dedicated over the two programs (commercials excluded), the president managed to take 60 percent of that time: 45 minutes to give 19 vague responses – not exactly the “dialogue” advertised by ABC:


Ouch!!!!

EXCLUSIVE: President Obama Defends Right to Choose Best Care
In ABC News Health Care Forum, President Answers Questions About Reform

By JAKE TAPPER and KAREN TRAVERS
June 24, 2009

President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

When you can’t get the groups that are already on their knees to you to roll over,that is an epic fail.

Baxter Greene on June 25, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Let’s be clear about this:

- 250 million Americans are perfectly happy with their current health care/insurance.

- 20 million people, mostly young, don’t buy insurance because they are bulletproof, or would rather buy big screen televisions, or understand that they can go to the emergency room and get treatment for ‘free’ (I pay for it).

- 20 million illegal aliens don’t have insurance, and by some twisted logic, our laws say that they can go to the emergency room and get treatment for ‘free’ (I pay for it again).

- 5 million people have a legitimate problem getting insurance or proper medical treatment.

Where is the urgent need to socialize medicine, so that treatment for all is reduced, and government power grows?

Vashta.Nerada on June 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM

And many folks who can take advantage of GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PROGRAMS RIGHT NOW – DO NOT.

http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/16014/Analysis_Politicians_Using_Flawed_Data_on_Uninsured_Population.html

Many Unaware They’re Insured

In addition, many people may not be aware that they or their children are covered by a health insurance program, either private or government, if they have not used covered services recently. Thus they fail to properly report their insurance coverage.

Research I conducted in 1999 while at the Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Missouri-Columbia discovered many Medicaid recipients say they don’t have insurance coverage, but when interviewed by a trained researcher and asked if the government paid for their medical care, they respond in the affirmative. When asked if they remember the name of the program, they cite Medicaid and sometimes Medicare. Many interviewees said they don’t consider government-run health care to be insurance because they do not pay premiums and often have no co-pays or deductibles.

Also inflating the uninsured figure is a sizeable increase in the nation’s immigrant population. Roughly 9 million documented and undocumented aliens are generally included in the Census estimates. Many immigrants hesitate to participate in a government program of any kind, for fear of establishing a paper trail for immigration and national security authorities. Cultural mores, folkways, and language barriers also conspire to keep these people uninsured.

Middle-Income Uninsured

Interestingly, the Census data for 2003 show almost 15 million uninsured people in households with annual incomes above $50,000, with 7.6 million of them in households with incomes of more than $75,000. That is certainly adequate income to afford health insurance in most states.

Another 18 million of the uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34, and many people in that age group voluntarily take a pass on buying health insurance. According to Greg Scandlen, director of the Center for Consumer Driven Health Care at the Galen Institute, “This attitude is actually encouraged by ‘guaranteed issue’ laws in many states, which assure individuals that they can buy health insurance after they become ill or injured.”

izoneguy on June 25, 2009 at 10:32 AM

If Obama REALLY wanted make health care more affordable, he would encourage law to be passed that would make frivolous lawsuits against doctors a crime with harsh fines and penalties. It’s ridiculous what doctors get sued for these days.

Jewels on June 25, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I know we’re not allowed to call Dems hypocrites, but you really think it’s right for someone to design a healthcare plan that they admit will be inferior to their needs? That’s the sort of thinking that created our current public school system.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:27 AM

As I said above, this is completely normal, and it’s fine. Congress regularly passes legislation that helps segments of the population other than themselves, as it should.

If a congressman only used FedEx same-day service to send important letters, would you conclude that the US Postal Service is a complete sham because it’s not good enough for that congressman? Of course not. It’s a basic service, and it’s not as good as other private services that cost more. Everyone has the option to use either one, depending on their needs and what they can afford. This is exactly what free-market conservatives want.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM

America has always had better health care at the top rung,
tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Don’t take that for granted. It is not set in stone that it will always be so!

zmdavid on June 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Since the public plan will be optional, it doesn’t “limit what you can get” unless you choose that limitation. Or unless it’s the best you can afford, in which case you weren’t going to get better coverage anyway.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:25 AM

That’s false. The public plan WILL limit what you can get in 4 ways.
1- the public plan itself will provide a lower level of care, in order to keep costs down.

2- many companies that currently provide health insurance will switch to the cheaper government plan, meaning their employees will be FORCED to switch to the cheaper plan.

3- planned taxes on employee benefits will encourage other employers to drop insurance altogether, meaning individuals will have to buy their own insurance with the smaller pool of money available to them (they don’t get a tax benefit like employers did), and without the advantage of buying in bulk that companies get.

4-planned taxes on the “wealthiest” means that even the very rich will have less dollars available to spend on their own healthcare.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:34 AM

One last thing; Term limits!

Star20 on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Amen to all you said but especially TERM LIMITS

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Or something along the lines of Tehran except with our right to bear arms still intact?

dhunter on June 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

We really do have to express outrage and we need to ridicule Obama’s plans into the ground. Politicians need to be scared to pass anything Zero wants. Terrified.

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

SHOCKER! UNINSURED NOT JAMMING EMERGENCY ROOMS

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=91258

“It’s not the uninsured who burden America’s emergency rooms so much as it is people who are carrying government insurance policies,” he said. “The low reimbursement rates offered doctors by government programs means very few will accept taxpayer-funded insurance any more, leaving those on government plans to visit ERs for care instead of primary-care physicians.”

izoneguy on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

“Since the public plan will be optional,…”

Your assumption is incorrect. Oh, it will technically be optional; but Obama and his entire team have admitted (in front of friendly audiences, secure in the knowledge that the video will never be aired in the MSM) that this is a step to single payer. And the mechanism is obvious: by taking gargantuan losses for however long it takes, make Obamacare too cheap to pass up. Employers will throw employees a little dough to go spend on Obamacare, and cancel the company policy. Soon the insurance companies will go belly up, or at least shutter their health insurance business, leaving only the public option.

Then, they’ve got us. Explaining the importance of returning to solvency (after eliminating the competition), large-scale rationing will begin. “Sorry, sir, you’re over 60. You don’t really need that left knee to work, so no MRI/surgery/therapy for you. But if the pain gets too bad, here’s the number of our euthanasia therapist.”

RegularJoe on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Politicians need to be scared to pass anything Zero wants. Terrified.

Maquis on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM

AMEN!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOLs7Cybnqw&feature=player_embedded

izoneguy on June 25, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Picture Obamas head with that helmet poppin’ out of an M1A1.

Just as funny as before.

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 10:37 AM

SKYFOX on June 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Currently, the uninsured tax the system with free emergency care. Obama’s plan is probably a bad idea for several reasons, but the status quo is unacceptable given the increasing percentage of GDP that health care consumes.

I’d probably eliminate the tax break for businesses, and create a tax break for individuals. If the government wanted to have a basic package that was subsidized for the poor that would be OK, as long as there were incentives for people to move off of it.

dedalus on June 25, 2009 at 10:39 AM

This is why it will need to undercut private plans and put them out of business, so it can transmogrify into a monopoly. In most provinces in Canada, private medical practice is ILLEGAL.

ProfessorMiao on June 25, 2009 at 10:03 AM

It’s illegal with a wink and a nod. Wealthy Canadians can always come to America and get treatment without waiting in line.

Asher on June 25, 2009 at 10:40 AM

As I said above, this is completely normal, and it’s fine. Congress regularly passes legislation that helps segments of the population other than themselves, as it should.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I question this part of your statement. Using the post office example. If the government didn’t introduce artificial competitors, there would probably be a number of low-cost delivery companies.

Using my earlier example of public schools – how is our public school system helping the poor in America? Are our servicemen REALLY helped by using Uncle Sam’s military healthcare system instead of being able to choose from among hundreds of other hospitals? Government-run programs don’t help the people they were intended to help as well as private solutions do. At best, they create “solutions” by passing the problems of cost to future generations, which keeps prices artificially high. At worst, they limit choice, and take away the opportunities to escape from bad situations.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I just hit 50 so now I’m “allowed” to get certain tests that I wasn’t before. My doctor HAD his own practice but he was losing money so he joined a health care management group. All of this happened because of govt. intrusion into the health care system. Govt. run care would be a nightmare.

Mojave Mark on June 25, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Wealthy Canadians can always come to America and get treatment without waiting in line.

Asher on June 25, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Where are they going to go after we have a Canadian-style system? And where are Americans going to go?

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Western_Civ on June 25, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Orwell it is.

Buy Danish on June 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM

But it certainly has nothing to do with what Obama said, which in exact agreement with the concern you noted: he admitted that those who can afford it will still be able to get the very best health care for their family.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:29 AM

You are right if this is not a trojan horse toward a single payer system. Sibelius has said that such a plan is a first step toward a government monopoly. In Canada, the monopoly can only be made to come even close to working because private practice is illegal. If your system comes to that eventuality, there will be nowhere left to get the very best health care except maybe Dubai.

ProfessorMiao on June 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Millionaires always know what’s best for us common folk.

GarandFan on June 25, 2009 at 10:44 AM

why on earth are we surprized to learn that ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha and Malia? DC public schools weren’t good enough. That alone sent the message to BO’s constituents that he sees himself as an elite. This latest Freudian moment just continues the Arugula theme of Obamalot.

LEBA on June 25, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Its more than paying for Medicare now. Its about the UAW also – they receive health insurance in retirement that supplements their Medicare. Since we own GM now, we will be paying for that supplemental insurance. Their supplemental insurance can’t be supported by the shrinking GM, so they will be offered this public plan.

mph on June 25, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Here’s the obvious point that often gets left out of the healthcare discussion. We’re having to find MORE money for a program whose purpose is to reduce cost.

We don’t know how much money we’ll save on $2 Trillion. Hey, could we save even more if we spend $10 Trillion?

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:47 AM

That alone sent the message to BO’s constituents that he sees himself as an elite.

LEBA on June 25, 2009 at 10:45 AM

I doubt his constituents got that message.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:48 AM

That’s false. The public plan WILL limit what you can get in 4 ways.
1- the public plan itself will provide a lower level of care, in order to keep costs down.

2- many companies that currently provide health insurance will switch to the cheaper government plan, meaning their employees will be FORCED to switch to the cheaper plan.

Why would a company necessarily switch to a cheaper, but worse, plan? Most existing companies do not choose the absolute worst available plan for their employees. That means that they already have the option to choose a cheaper, worse plan, but don’t. The reason they don’t is that then they’d have fewer or worse employees.

In any case, what you describe is certainly not force, and you are certainly deviating from what free-market conservatives would say. A socialist might say that a person is FORCED to have poor health care if they can’t afford it, can’t get a job that offers it, or can only get a job that offers a bad plan. Conservatives reject this reasoning (and I agree with them), because this is how a free society works, and it works better than socialism.

3- planned taxes on employee benefits will encourage other employers to drop insurance altogether, meaning individuals will have to buy their own insurance with the smaller pool of money available to them (they don’t get a tax benefit like employers did), and without the advantage of buying in bulk that companies get.

4-planned taxes on the “wealthiest” means that even the very rich will have less dollars available to spend on their own healthcare.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:34 AM

You may be right about this, but you’ve strayed far from the topic of Obama’s answer. I wasn’t defending Obama’s entire plan, or even any part of his plan. I was just saying that far from Obama’s answer being a “gotcha” moment for conservatives, it actually agreed with everything they want.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:48 AM

That is a completely different point that has nothing to do with what Obama said here.

bullsh*t. You want to know what will happen when socialized medicine comes here? Look at Canada. The rich come to America. Why? because Canadian healthcare blows.
Obama full out admitted that Obamacare will be inferior. Where the hell do you think him and his will go when they get sick? Answer: somewhere that they can pay for better care.
I’m beginning to think one thing about you and it ain’t good, my darling.

mjk on June 25, 2009 at 10:51 AM

The true motivation behind the feelgood facade of every Elitist Liberal program is the consolidation of wealth in the hands of the few, distribution of power to the connected, and control over the general populace. That’s slavery, not freedom.

southsideironworks on June 25, 2009 at 10:51 AM

If a congressman only used FedEx same-day service to send important letters, would you conclude that the US Postal Service is a complete sham because it’s not good enough for that congressman? Of course not. It’s a basic service, and it’s not as good as other private services that cost more. Everyone has the option to use either one, depending on their needs and what they can afford. This is exactly what free-market conservatives want.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Nice try. But FAIL.

To make your example comparable, FedEx would charge $1 a letter and USPS would charge $0.50 and both provide the same level of service.

That’s how Obama is setting this up. BCBS charges $500 a month, we’ll give you a $250 option and you’ll get the same care with both. In which case about 5 minutes after the bill is signed, BCBS goes out of business as nobody in their right mind will pay $500 for service that is available for $250.

And that is the end goal of Obama’s plan. He doesn’t give a PHUCK what kind of service you receive. He wants complete control over the system.

You are very naive is you can’t see what’s happening.

angryed on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

From the video, the spin will be nuanced. He wants the “Best Care” for his family. That doesn’t address how it will be “paid for”.

What he is really saying is that the Government Paid Plan, will not be the “Best Option”.

PappaMac on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I guess ABC has its uses. I was pretty much finished with it, back when it contracted Monday Night out to ESPN. Well, before that, but that was a really good pretext for slamming ABC.

Even a blind chicken gets a kernel every now and then.

J.E. Dyer on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

RegularJoe on June 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM
hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:41 AM
ProfessorMiao on June 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM

You guys may be right about things becoming single-payer down the road, the post office being a bad service, etc. But this is just general criticism of universal health care and Obama’s plan. It has nothing to do with his answer in this post. That answer implied that those who can afford it will always have access to the best health care.

You might think that’s not true, and you might think it will be a disaster for all sorts of reasons, but that doesn’t make this answer a Dukakis moment. On the contrary, it promises something that conservatives want.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Millionaires always know what’s best for us common folk.
GarandFan on June 25, 2009 at 10:44 AM

Yet us common folk, by dint of our commonness and predilection for common activities such as hunting, are usually better shots. The time for trusting in accuracy is starting to draw near.

Bishop on June 25, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Obama needs a Hypocrisy Czar.

Daggett on June 25, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Obama will get right on that, right after he sends his kids to public school on public transportation.

Please – Democrats: Because they’re more equal than you and your family are.

NoDonkey on June 25, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Another little tid bit that isn’t being addressed.

Once the private health insurance companies go out of business, Where are all those employees going to find employment? Tax base decreases, Tax rate increases to pay for government health care.

And if you can’t understand that, there is no help for you.

PappaMac on June 25, 2009 at 10:56 AM

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

He did not promise that we could get the care we need. He said, “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["].
As in any Socialist enviroment, the Government will get the best of everyting. The Proletariat will be shafted.

kingsjester on June 25, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Canadian healthcare blows.

It’s the best in the world – as long as you don’t get sick.

And only a small percentage of people get really sick, so the majority of Canadians are quite happy about their lack of health care.

NoDonkey on June 25, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Why would a company necessarily switch to a cheaper, but worse, plan? Most existing companies do not choose the absolute worst available plan for their employees.

Who knows why they switch, though I would say greed and the pressure to reduce costs play a factor. But time after time, that’s what happened. Look at Florida’s property insurance industry. State-run insurance at lower cost ended up forcing State Farm, the largest property insurer in the state, to stop writing policies there because they couldn’t compete with the government. Thousands of people switched to the cheaper government option. And since the state insurance fund is underfunded, when there’s a hurricane, those people will be waiting for checks for months, if not years. Think they’ll miss State Farm’s army of insurance adjusters then? Most people factor weigh the short-term benefit too high, and the long-term benefits too low.

In Hawaii, they created a health plan for children. The plan was ended 7 months later because so many families decided to put their children on the plan, which was created for poor people who couldn’t afford insurance.

The estimates I’ve seen on the current health plan indicate that lots of existing people will switch to the public option, while we’ll still have millions of uninsured.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 10:59 AM

You might think that’s not true, and you might think it will be a disaster for all sorts of reasons, but that doesn’t make this answer a Dukakis moment. On the contrary, it promises something that conservatives want.

tneloms on June 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I totally agree with your point on that, as far as it goes. But doesn’t his answer also indicate that the best solution may be to let individuals make their own healthcare decisions? The government can’t create a plan without taking resources out of the private sector. The loss of those resources limits the choices of individuals.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Daggett on June 25, 2009 at 10:55 AM

+1

cmsinaz on June 25, 2009 at 11:03 AM

It’s only a Dukakis moment if enough Americans are paying attention and not acting like Obama-worshipping pod people, incapable of discerning that the man is a lying, scheming politician of the first water. Thus far the populace hasn’t been able to do that. I’m not optimistic that they’ll wake up in time.

evergreen on June 25, 2009 at 11:04 AM

If ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha, Malia, or Michelle, then it’s not good enough for America.

OMG. What if something happened to her ARMS!?

fiscallyconservative on June 25, 2009 at 11:05 AM

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress Please go here and contact your reps regarding HR2424 (energy bill). This has to be stopped!

HoustonRight on June 25, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Oh, and this isn’t his first such moment. He doesn’t blush about sending the girls to private school while skewering the DC voucher program, so why would he blush about this?

evergreen on June 25, 2009 at 11:06 AM

How could you tell if he DID blush?

Star20 on June 25, 2009 at 11:08 AM

When’s the last time Barry took public transportation or flew coach?

Democrat constantly lecture us about “global climate change”.

Yet I don’t see Air Force One sitting in the hangar.

Pelosi uses the Air Force as her own personal broom.

Whatever happened to leading by example?

NoDonkey on June 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM

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