This isn’t about politics?

posted at 11:44 am on August 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

As part of his full-court press in the media on behalf of his flagging health-care system overhaul, Barack Obama penned an op-ed for today’s New York Times.  He garnered a key Sunday slot, which is the opinion journalism equivalent of a prime-time press conference, so one might expect that Obama has something new to add to the debate.  Instead, he gave the same stump speech that Obama uses in every town hall, or greenhouse, as Jim Treacher calls them in honor of the many plants that appear in these forums.

Picking apart the entire essay would be an exercise in redundancy.  Most of the claims he makes, like “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” have been thoroughly rebutted, since his overhaul will provide financial incentives for businesses to dump employee coverage in favor of the government-run public option, as the fines for dropping coverage will be far smaller than the costs of providing health insurance.  Obama never even mentions the individual mandates imposed in the House versions of the bill, which will fine people who don’t buy insurance, especially those middle-class taxpayers who don’t make enough for subsidies but can’t afford an expensive policy.

One argument caught my eye, however, and it comes at the end:

In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America.

In the end, this isn’t about politics.

It’s not about politics?  Barack Obama wants to impose a sweeping takeover of the health-care industry by the federal government, and he has the audacity to claim that politics has nothing to do with this?  It has everything to do with it.  Any government program has politics at its basis by definition.

Government will mandate comparative effectiveness models to influence treatment by government-funded providers.   Those decisions will get made not by doctors or patients, but by elected officials who primarily are lawyers, not physicians.  Does anyone believe that politics has nothing to do with the imposition of this kind of rationing?

Democrats have tried a number of strategies to sell ObamaCare to an increasingly skeptical and angry public.  At first, they tried insisting that everyone hated their own status quo, until Gallup polls showed that 83% of people were satisfied with their current coverage.  After that, they tried demonizing insurance executives.  Does that sound as though politics has nothing to do with this proposal?

Up to 10% of medical costs in the US relate to lawsuits.  Providers overuse resources in order to practice defensive medicine to protect themselves from predatory and abusive lawsuits.  Yet not one sentence in the ObamaCare proposals in Congress deal with tort reform, which would immediately cut costs in the health-care industry.  Trial lawyers, not coincidentally, heavily contribute to the Democratic Party currently writing all these bills.  Are we to believe that’s not all about politics?

This is all about politics, which is why Obama had to write the op-ed in today’s Times.  If he loses this battle, he’s wounded politically, and the rest of his agenda will be in deep trouble.

And if anyone thinks that a government-run health-care system won’t have political considerations entering into treatment decisions, let’s revisit this video from the Independence Institute.  It explains how treatment gets funded in the Oregon public plan.

Update: My friend Bruce McQuain makes a great point about Obama wanting this both ways in the essay:

But these lines especially caught my attention:

We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.

They totally contradict this line within the same editorial:

I hear more and more stories like these every single day, and it is why we are acting so urgently to pass health-insurance reform this year.

This is a familiar Obama tactic. Give lip service through high sounding rhetoric about “serious debate”, but in reality be focused on “urgently pass[ing] health insurance this year” and avoiding debate. It is supposed to fool you into thinking he’s committed to debate while in reality he’s trying to push this legislation through as quickly as possible.

It deserved a serious debate, but Obama wanted it rushed through Congress before the August recess precisely because he didn’t want Americans to be able to debate it before passing it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

My sheriff is a LESBIAN DUMOCRAT!

TruthToBeTold on August 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM

It’s not about politics. It’s about power and control.

29Victor on August 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM

My sheriff is a LESBIAN DUMOCRAT!

TruthToBeTold on August 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Why is her preferrence an issue?

massrighty on August 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Good post Ed. An article on Drudge says the Dems are going to give up the Public Option and go for CO-Ops! Which are run by Consumers! With government funding! Which means they’re going to try the same crap incrementally! We need more Government run/funded programs to compete with the private sector? Rather then getting govt. out and some tort reform which can foster more competition amongst the private sector where it belongs! Not the Public! I’m just waiting to hear Rush, Sean and Mark analyze this Co-Op garbage and destroy it. We are part way there to stopping these guys folks, keep up the pressure still and good luck!

Humphrey007 on August 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

they will change hte name to “co-opt” as they have already laid the seeds by whispering about that in place of public option but it will be the same exact thing. Harry Reid admited as much. Just change the name but still be Governemnt run healthcare.

Make no mistakes, this is the most corrupt and power hungry administration in American History. Anything short of total government take over of Healthcare is unnacceptable. One way or anyother Dictator Obama will make sure of that, no matter how deceptive he and Dems have to be

Niteowl45 on August 16, 2009 at 6:02 PM

You know Michelle, “nothing tastes better after getting pounded in the polls like a bunch of arugula from Whole Foods market.

AltTuning on August 16, 2009 at 6:13 PM

I pity these angry white hate mobs.

dcwvu on August 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

and don’t give a sh!t about Kenneth Gladney. Careful, your race card is getting a little worn.

Fighton03 on August 16, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Most important, we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups, preventive care and screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies.

And none of telling insurers who, what, when, where, why and how much is govt takeover of health care…

Chris_Balsz on August 16, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Fighton03 on August 16, 2009 at 6:16 PM

I’ve noticed this about dcwvu.
He/She doesn’t ever support any of his/her hateful posts.
He/She posts, then doesn’t respond to challenges.
Conclusion;
dcwvu is both a lightweight, and a full-on coward.

massrighty on August 16, 2009 at 6:22 PM

No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Why not? Why should people’s net worth be constant regardless of what they spend or what they don’t earn?

What’s my proper bank balance, Mr. President? What are you and the rest of America going to do to get it there?

Chris_Balsz on August 16, 2009 at 6:26 PM

What’s my proper bank balance, Mr. President? What are you and the rest of America going to do to get it there?

Chris_Balsz on August 16, 2009 at 6:26 PM

This is a complex question;
Are you a (R) or a (D)?
Are you a legal resident?
Are you part of an oppressed minority?

Based on your answer, you may be entitled to other peoples money; or, you may be of the oppreser class, and need to give up more of your money.

Will sort you out in the upcoming census, which our operatives will collect, and which will be run through our political machine.

/sarc

massrighty on August 16, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I got an email from Washington, and when I opened it up it smelled like chum! Could this be the “Fishy Police”?

Cybergeezer on August 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM

These people are just people desperate to be on camera to show their displeasure of losing to a black man. They need to come to terms with being in the minority and being impotent. I pity these angry white hate mobs.

dcwvu on August 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

The Leftists-That-Be got lucky. They were finally able to put forth a black man for president who was easily manipulated by them, being one of the dumbest of either group–Leftists and black. In addition, the particular man had the superficial qualities comforting to other Leftists, to those plagued by white guilt and to assorted other idiots: the stentorian voice and the not-too-black, reasonably “attractive” appearance. (As a group, other blacks don’t fall in this number; it was a given that most would vote for him as has been so for white Democrat candidates in recent presidential contest.)

With all of these “stars in alignment,” the Leftists think they can’t lose because there is always that ready-made cudgel available to race-baiters: “you just don’t like him/his policies because he’s black.” There’s no logic in it. There doesn’t have to be. It’s an accusation intended to inflame anger on both sides.

Which has been the Leftists’ goal all along.

baldilocks on August 16, 2009 at 6:55 PM

In the end, this isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives and livelihoods. This is about people’s businesses. This is about America’s future, and whether we will be able to look back years from now and say that this was the moment when we made the changes we needed, and gave our children a better life. I believe we can, and I believe we will.

This is a textbook example of what I call the butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth fallacy. It’s the fallacy of pretending that one’s position is above partisan interests and is self-evidently holy. Pelosi’s article displays the same attitude. The fact is that whether or not we should pass a given bill is inherently a political issue, and we are not obligated to pass a bill simply because its proponents think the bill is “about America’s future.”

Bill Ramey on August 16, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Seizing control of major banks isn’t about politics.

Seizing control of the auto industry isn’t about politics.

Firing the CEO of GM isn’t about politics.

Shutting down thousands of auto dealers isn’t about politics.

Setting the pay scale for private business isn’t about politics.

Nationalizing health care isn’t about politics.

TugboatPhil on August 16, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Obama is an extremely dangerous demagogue; If he starts a war with some country, this will give him the following he desires for the “good of the country”, and people will jump off the cliff to obey him.
A war would give him the following and control of the industrial complex he wants, to obtain his complete mastery of the U.S. And his puppeteers in Congress are salivating at this prospect.
Do you realize he has the power to terrorize all humanity?

Cybergeezer on August 16, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Powerful Video. Ed you are doing great work.

Geochelone on August 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Good post Ed. An article on Drudge says the Dems are going to give up the Public Option and go for CO-Ops! Which are run by Consumers! With government funding! Which means they’re going to try the same crap incrementally!Humphrey007 on August 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

+1

Rovin on August 16, 2009 at 8:24 PM

“This isn’t about Politics”

No, most of us know it is about taking control of the United States of America and turning it into a Socialist/Marxist cesspool just like the other failed states in this world.

Well there are millions of us that say that is never going to happen.

We conservatives haven’t liked the choices our government has been making for about the last fifty years. But being the silent ones we just kept working and hoping that our government would somehow see the light and the errors in their ways. And being gullible we kept voting for those that lied and said they were for conservative ways and measures and a smaller government.

Our big, big continuing mistakes.

The democrats have been planning this takeover and expansion of our Republic for ages and each time they get in power, they along with republicans in name only do more and more damage to our Republic.
Power indeed does corrupt, but it takes a certain kind of people that want to change America into something that our Founders never wanted and warned us about.

Now, because of several new reasons, the American people, or at least over half of them have been shocked out of their inattention and stupidity of inaction.

But being conservatives, do we have the guts and the stamina to push back hard enough, long enough to rid ourselves of these progressive neo-commie socialists and their backers (wherever and whomever they are)?

They showed their hand during the last elections with their goons in almost every state falsifying registrations and miscounting and outright fraud in vote counting. It will ve even worse come next election times. They have grown stronger and more entrenched in many state governments.

If our votes can’t do it, the only alternative is so terrible, as not to be spoken of until it will be almost too late.

A quote if I may:

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
2009 Judge Alex Kozinski

Papa Ray
West Texas

Papa Ray on August 16, 2009 at 9:07 PM

No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Why stop there? Go all the way with it:

No one in America should go broke die because they get sick.

Yay! Paradise.

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 9:29 PM

The public option will be “government-run” health care. Government run health care will become “politician-run” health care. Do we want Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and Dick Durbin running our health care system? I’d like to see a poll from Rasmussen on politician-run health care with those geniuses in charge.

stefano1 on August 16, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Why is her preferrence an issue?

massrighty on August 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Really, she coulda just as easily been a Republican…

It’s no doubt an issue because she made it one. Pervs want everyone to know what they like to put in their mouths, then take offense when someone takes offense.

It kinda begins with them.

Akzed on August 16, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Akzed on August 16, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Really, she coulda just as easily been a Republican…

That’s what I get, for an imprecise question – Touche’ sir/madam.

And you may be right; there’s a world of difference between a “Lesbian Sherrif” and a “Sherrif, (who is a Lesbian.)”

I kind of wanted to hear from TruthToBeTold, why he made this his sole post on this thread.

massrighty on August 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM

If Barack Obama had actually spent any amount of time dealing with his grandmother’s final year, he might have participated in one of those “death panels” where the hospital administrators, the doctors and the social workers gang up on the family members to tell you that your “loved one” in on the road to death and now must be stripped of all human dignity by being relegated to a nursing home for the remainder of their life.

J_Crater on August 16, 2009 at 9:37 PM

Barack Obama wants to impose a sweeping takeover of the health-care industry by the federal government, and he has the audacity to claim that politics has nothing to do with this.

Spot on Ed, and people are waking up to the fact that Obama isn’t even a good politician; he is a good bully, backed by an eager media.

Obama’s Healthcare reform isn’t political?

Then why the name change from Health Care Reform to Health Insurance Reform?

Why then, if the Democrats want tax-payer funded abortions included, they don’t call (abortions) Elective surgery? Isn’t that what abortion really is? One could make the case that by using protection/abstaining, one could save the more expensive costs the government (under Obama’s Healthcare) a ton of cash spent on abortions. Much the same way that Obama speaks of “treating an alergy as opposed to tonsil removal”; and “treating diabetes instead of more costly amputations”…

TN Mom on August 16, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Did you ever see a politician that had seen the light (that just might save his personal political career) …
“I will never vote for a bill to kill old people, period,” he said. For some context, here’s Ross responding to the attack ads he says he’s been seeing:

I read the newspaper this morning. $57 million has been spent in the last six months, most of it in the last 45 days, trying to scare folks. I saw an ad the other night on TV. It scared the living daylights out of me. But I went back and watched it again. It used the word “could” six times in 60 seconds. [...] I can tell you, I’ve laid down my set of principles, so I will not force government-run health care on anyone. If there ever is government-run health care, the first ones to sign up should be the president and every member of Congress, including myself. You should be able to keep the insurance you’ve got today, if you like it, and always choose your own doctor. No federal funding for illegal immigrants or for abortion, and no rationing of health care. I will never vote for a bill to kill old people, period. [emphasis added]

Just yesterday, Ross got a standing ovation when he bragged about standing up to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

J_Crater on August 16, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Racism is the last refuge of the scoundrel when losing an arguement. You have found your refuge.

ICBM

Except when the scoundrel is a liberal….then it’s the first, last, and middle.

xblade on August 16, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Time to contact the Senate and House on tort reforms. We need to change the gaming of the system. At the next townhall or rally question everyone on that subject.

elclynn on August 16, 2009 at 11:23 PM

If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day.

And how many of those 14,000 Americans will lose their insurance due to the fact they die of natural causes?

I’m fairly certain when someone passes away they lose their health insurance.

DSchoen on August 16, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Our deficit will continue to grow.

Our deficit will continue to grow regardless if this bill is passed or not.

And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

Ah, so true cuz there is no profit in receiving premiums from healthy people.

What planet does this guy live on?

DSchoen on August 16, 2009 at 11:33 PM

That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America.

When 66% of independents want you to keep YOUR (Obama) hands off health care it fair to assume that what you want is not is not what the American people want.

DSchoen on August 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM

If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day.

Where exactly did he get this figure from? Is there a credible study/report that can confirm this?

TopLawyer on August 17, 2009 at 12:23 AM

In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing.

How to make a Straw Man Argument.
1. Build a strawman or two: cynics and naysayers. Don’t worry about defining who these people are, that doesn’t matter.
2. Define the strawman’s tactics: exploit fear for political gain.
3. Establish the strawman’s goal: doing nothing.
4. Become The One by knocking the Strawman down and save the day.
5. Again, don’t worry about specifics or the fact that you are utilizing fear for political gain yourself. The members of your cult won’t bother to connect those dots.
6. Repeat as necessary.

Mallard T. Drake on August 17, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Obama isn’t bright enough to be “running the show” on ANY aspect of government nor is he bright enought to delegate authority to the correct person to run with any of his ideas (The correct person to delegate the authority on ObamaCare was any GOP LIBERAL RINO HACK. Powell comes to mind.

By picking a Republican, Obama would have been able to stay above the fray and even if he didn’t get entirely what he wanted, he would’ve gotten at least a good portion of it. (Any good politician would have taken what was offered knowing that anything run by the government will eventually be expanded).

Picking a Republican would have given him and the Democrats the cover they needed. Obama would then have been able to say, “I didn’t want the government running healthcare, but this fine gentleman, a Republican I trust, has made his decision so I will have to live by it.”

Obama delegated the entire ObamaCare issue to an idiot–himself so he only has himself to blame. (Sebellius is only there to repeat what he’s been told.)

ConservativeTony on August 17, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Nationalizing health care isn’t about politics.

TugboatPhil on August 16, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Nationalizing health care isn’t about politics.

Counting illegals , using ACORN in 2010 census is not about politics

macncheez on August 17, 2009 at 1:25 AM

They stuffed so much stuff into this initial House bill that if a few things are begrudgingly removed at the insistence of the public, no big deal. That’s why it was so sweeping to begin with. August is coming to a close and the Senate will have their own version to vote on very, very soon.

How many heads are going to explode when this health reform bill gets passed? Where am I going to go to get a few laughs from Keyboard Conservatives?

welcome_ghosts on August 17, 2009 at 6:34 AM

Obama in the New York Times: “Let’s have a discussion.”

Obama on August 6th, to a cheering ‘mob’: “I don’t mind cleaning up their mess, but I don’t want them talkin’.”

LIAR.

Grace_is_sufficient on August 17, 2009 at 7:09 AM

If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day.

My favorite soundbyte hands down. Where’d this number come from, and what’s the other half of the stat? Does it include people who die or change jobs?

NickelAndDime on August 17, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Its all about a boy, that is a socialist boy, trying to do a mans job. Several more cheeseburger seasons for this young messiah. Chew your Flintstone Vitamin and take a sip of Kool-Aid comrade trolls.

bluegrass on August 17, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Obama says that the failure of the proposed health care reform legislation is “not a future I want for my children”, but he won’t commit to using the public option for those children.

molonlabe28 on August 17, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Sorry but a few angry white mobs in a country of 300 million does not speak for us all. They are just the few the news likes to show because it helps ratings. These people are just people desperate to be on camera to show their displeasure of losing to a black man. They need to come to terms with being in the minority and being impotent. I pity these angry white hate mobs.

dcwvu on August 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Excellent summary of Obama’s argument. And thanks for helping to usher in the great Obama-post-racial era!

It’s astonishing. We have the Speaker of the House falsely associating opponents of ObamaCare with neo-nazis and the Majority Leader of the senate claim these opponents are disrupting democracy…all while union thugs are being called in to ensure politicians aren’t asked tough questions by their constituents and the Whitehouse asking it’s supporters to report on these opponents.

So far the left has ascribed these motives to ObamaCare opponents:
(1) Racist
(2) Terrorists
(3) Astroturfers/Shadowy corporate operators
There is no effort to engage on the ideas or the policy. It’s all name calling and vilification.
And all this when the party is lead by a community organizer – the job description of which is near as I can tell is to agitate people.

Citizens and constituents are being vilified for exercising their freedom to speak and seek redress of grievances. Doctors have been vilified (they’ll take out your tonsils!)

When Obama loses the election on 2012 you’ll just chalk it up to racism but deep down you’ll know it’s because whenever most Americans see liberalism displayed they reject it.

gwelf on August 17, 2009 at 2:17 PM

izoneguy:

Many thanks for your response to my query about sources for the stats on the financial impact of lawsuits. The proliferation of conflicting percentages suggests that there are a lot of different, and politically convenient, ways to select and interpret the data for such calculations. I’ve been hoping to be able to closer look and appreciate the links.

JM Hanes on August 17, 2009 at 2:28 PM

And not a single bit of substance to answer the criticisms of the bill itself. Well played Mr. President!

Scrappy on August 17, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Obamacare is just like all socialist schemes. It’s intent is creating a permanent electoral majority.Energy:cap and tax controls business via energy use. Then illegal immigration adds tens of millions of welfare constituents, and the final straw, Obamacare controls whether you live or die. Red states will be the first to go. Saul Alinsky would be proud. They didn’t count on the grassroots activism of the new technologies fighting back so vehemently however.Maybe we can stop this. Like Laura Inghram said, “we are all community organizers now!”

ntmaloney on August 17, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3