President Obama suggests the bitter clingers in middle America are so dense that even the greatest orator in world history cannot educate them:
“I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my polls. I do look at the polling on health care, partly because I think that there is a terrific case to be made to the American public. But it is — this is complicated, it’s difficult,” the president said. “And I will say that this has been the most difficult test for me so far in public life, trying to describe in clear, simple terms how important it is that we reform this system. The case is so clear to me.”
Olympia Snowe, it seems safe to assume, is following the health care debate a bit more closely than the average American.
So it is saying something that the Maine senator — a key figure in health care negotiations — admits she is stumped by the task of crafting a simple explanation for legislation of mind-numbing complexity.
“If anybody can give me an easy, 30-second solution to this multitrillion-dollar problem, be my guest,” said Snowe, a moderate Republican.
A Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, agrees. “The members don’t even understand what’s in it,” he confessed of the legislation. As for his constituents? They are “not exactly sure what this is about, and they’re not really sure whether they like it or not.”
Complexity is an inherent problem with attempting comprehensive reform, so it is difficult to muster much sympathy for the politicians whining about it now. It is much easier to be glad that Pres. Obama has not tried the incremental approach, which is more difficult to fight.
Moreover, Pres. Obama’s rhetoric is part of his problem. For example, he complains about doctors and hospitals performing unnecessary medical tests, while claiming that we can save substantial money by promoting preventive care and refusing to tag his trial lawyer pals as part of the problem of defensive medicine. On a larger scale, Pres. Obama tries to assure everyone that he is not proposing a European or Japanese-style healthcare system, even as he claims that these countries do a better job than the US. And he is selling healthcare reform as a cost-containment measure when unbiased estimates show the opposite — not to mention that states like Tennessee, Maine and Massachusetts have all failed with similar schemes.
In short, it is no wonder Pres. Obama is having trouble selling his healthcare reforms. Not only is it a complex issue, but Pres. Obama insists on talking out of both sides of his mouth about the issue. It is not surprising that voters suspect this is because they would not want what is being sold if he was being honest.