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Archive for Saturday, August 15, 2009

Democrats work hard to push Obama health care plan

August 15, 2009

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The annual August recess for members of the U.S. House and Senate served as the starter’s gun for a large number of Democratic legislators to spread across the country to sell the Obama health care package.

Obama had pressed for Congress to approve his “change” in this nation’s health care program before the August recess. He devoted a tremendous amount of time trying to sell his program with personal appearances throughout the country, as well as nationally televised press conferences.

House and Senate members put together various plans, mostly without any invitation to or participation by Republican legislators, although one of Obama’s repetitive campaign pledges was for bipartisanship and transparency in all government actions. He even said he would make sure the public would be able to read and study any proposed federal legislation calling for major “changes” at least several weeks before such legislation was brought to Congress for a vote. Few, if any, of these pledges have been kept.

Due to the less-than-open manner in which Democratic Senate and House members went about developing their health plans, GOP members, as well as the public, were shut out.

Eventually a more-than-1,000-page health care plan was put together. Obama and his aides wanted the plan approved prior to the August break. Most House and Senate Democrats acknowledged they had not read the bill but they called for its quick passage.

Gradually, greater numbers of Senate and House members realized they were being used to try to jam a plan down the throats of the public, a plan they themselves had not read and a plan that would affect 20 percent of this nation’s economy — not to mention the manner in which Americans would receive and pay for health care. It is reported there currently are four House plans and one Senate plan designed to carry out Obama’s wishes to overhaul health care in the United States.

Skepticism and opposition started to grow, and it became clear there was no way Obama was going to get passage of a health care bill prior to the August recess. In fact, White House observers suddenly realized there was a good chance they would not be able to get approval even when the lawmakers returned to Washington in September.

Obama then changed tunes and said the country would have a new health plan by the end of the year.

Democrats left Washington with the message to go home, test the public’s pulse and sell the many radical changes called for in the bill. In fact, there isn’t any firm health care bill. Most in Congress do not know at this time what may or may not end up in Obama’s plan. The secrecy surrounding this massive change is one of the major reasons the public is expressing growing opposition.

When legislators returned home they found significant questioning, mistrust and anger about what Obama has been trying to force through Congress. Town hall meetings were scheduled by many Democratic lawmakers, and they were surprised by the vocal anger and opposition. During the past several weeks, this opposition has grown, and public opinion polls indicate there is a significant slide downward in Obama’s popularity, as well as growing concerns and suspicions about greater government control of Americans’ health care.

Opposition and anger has grown to the point that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said those forcefully speaking out in their distrust and anger are “un-American.” She and others have gone overboard in trying to denigrate those who have spoken out about the Obama plan.

Granted, there are sure to be some in these audiences who attend only to cause troubles or try to disrupt, but it is reported the vast majority of those at the meetings are genuinely interested and concerned about any major change in how they receive health care, the cost of such care, who will pay and the many, many unknowns contained in the various proposals being designed by House and Senate members as well as close Obama advisers.

This writer was told former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius may be Secretary of Health and Human Services but that the original nominee for this Cabinet position, former Sen. Tom Daschle, actually is calling the shots and directing the strategy to get Obama’s dream of a new American system of health care passed in Congress — regardless of the public’s reaction to the plan.

Obama is out to change many historic policies and systems in the United States and bring this country closer to national socialism. A massive change in health care is one of the critical and early building blocks in his plan.

In one way, it is disturbing to see and hear some of the town hall meetings held to discuss the health care changeover, as shouting and yelling is almost foreign to the usual American public meetings to discuss major political issues. We see such actions in other countries but not in the United States.

However, Obama has made it clear he is going to try to remake America in many ways: lower or no income taxes for the majority of Americans, government-provided health care for the growing millions of illegals living in this country, a redistribution of wealth, massive debts for this country and its citizens, government caps on how much certain types of businesses can pay their executives but no concerns about the multi-millions paid to athletes and entertainers, the government takeover of private businesses as General Motors and Chrysler, banks and insurance companies and obvious efforts by Obama to weaken our capitalism in favor of socialism and/or massive government control.

This being the case, is there any wonder why growing numbers of Americans are expressing greater concern and anger?

Granted, there are wrongs in this country, but is this justification to call for major changes, adopt failed policies of other countries and, in so doing, tear apart what has created the world’s freest and cleanest system of government, offering more freedoms to its citizens than any other country and a country which has been the strongest supporter of freedoms for those living in other parts of the world?

It’s time, past time, in fact, for some very serious questioning of what the president is trying to sell to America — with the help of many in the media. The angry voices and shouting, the lack of respect shown to some elected officials, are not pleasant to watch, but far better to have serious questioning than to end up having citizens say, “Why didn’t we do or say something, and why didn’t we see what was happening when we had a chance to say ‘no’ rather than to be asleep and have our freedoms compromised?”

History is likely to show the manner in which the health legislation question is resolved and sets the stage for how much Obama was able to change America into his own dream.

Comments

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

Boy this is really lame spin. If the GOP would work in good faith to help craft a solid plan, they would not be 'shut out'. Who wants to work with the likes of Boehner or McConnel who do nothing but complain and have brought absolutely nothing of value to the table? It is clear that the only plan they have is to obstruct what 70+% of the American people want.

It is only by fear mongering that the GOP has a voice. The lies they have spread are shameful and have caused even more divisiveness among the American people. Do not for one minute try to tag this travesty on anyone else.

HoosierPride 5 years, 4 months ago

Good editorial here LJworld. You just insured, with your lies, that I will never spend another dollar paying for your product.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

The O'dude says, "Here's a poke. Trust me. There's a pig in there. Now give me all your money, citizen."

dpowers 5 years, 4 months ago

Barry, I would like to be able to keep what I earn, but a huge chunk of what I earn goes to the insurance company every month. Every tax paying american deserves to get the same defined benefit package that the people in congress get!

BTW, Dolph didn't earn his money, he inherited it.

scott3460 5 years, 4 months ago

Note the absence of any affirmative plan for addressing the current healthcare situation.

republicans seem to think such collections of half-truths and deliberate mis-statements demonstrate to the public that they are contributing to the health care debate. They are not, and intelligent folks can see that.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

Democratic members of Congress act as if avoiding contact with the people who elected them will help foist this mad scheme on America

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

The "Plan" does not yet exist in final form. (Thanks to heel dragging and lies spread by the Party of NO.)

Perhaps it would be better to discuss specific issues that to denigrate a half finished plan?

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

dpowers.

Agree. Why aren't the anti-tax people out in the streets complaining about the 30% non refundable surcharge (tax?) on their private insurance that pays for exec salaries, corporate jets, and shareholder dividends. The only way they can deep that margin is by denying or rescinding coverage.

Where is the populist outrage on this? Oh. Right. The insurance highway robbers are giving the teabaggers their marching orders and screaming points. Too bad that they will realize some day that by taking up the cause of the insurance industry, they have cost themselves far more than any tax they have ever imagined.

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

dpowers: "Every tax paying american deserves to get the same defined benefit package that the people in congress get!"

What do you mean by "tax paying american?" Do you mean those who pay federal income taxes?

"An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay zero or negative federal income taxes. " http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/15/politics/otherpeoplesmoney/main4945874.shtml

And uh, since there's no real defined plan out there, it's hard to respond to the second part of the comment about having the same defined benefit package as members of Congress, but at this point, do you really think everyone is going to get the same health care treatments with the proposals that are being kicked around?

Good piece: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/life-expectancy-health-2529244-say-good#

People aren't "Taking up the cause of the insurance industry" Overthemoon, they're taking up for themselves. And if you believe all this dissent is being orchestrated by the insurance companies, I'd love a puff of whatever you're smoking this morning.

puddleglum 5 years, 4 months ago

dpowers wins with: "Barry, I would like to be able to keep what I earn, but a huge chunk of what I earn goes to the insurance company every month. Every tax paying american deserves to get the same defined benefit package that the people in congress get!

BTW, Dolph didn't earn his money, he inherited it."

I couldn't agree more.

dear party of NO, lets hear your version on how to lower health costs.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

exhawk:

Not smoking anything. How could 'they' all be talking for them own selves when they are all saying the EXACT same thing. Think about it.

Please see: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html

Watch the whole thing, its about 30 minutes long. You can swoon over the part about the memos with exactly the talking point lies given to GOP congressionals by....you guessed it... the insurance industry lobbyists. Follow the money. Its always about the money.

And that's just the start. Ask, and I'll provide you more proof than you'd like to swallow. Its a bitter pill, that truth is.

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

Hmmmm puds, what do you think of these proposals?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html

BTW, many left-wing "nuts" are boycotting Whole Foods because of this. Sounds like there might be 2 parties of "no."

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

Sweet, Moon. Thanks. I'll see if I can get the whole thing in today.

And I have thought about it. Believe me.

kmj 5 years, 4 months ago

One should agree that the congressmen passing this Health Care Plan should HAVE to use it. If congress is voting for a plan, shouldn't it be one in which THEY will also be using?

Vote YES to "Do you feel Members of Congress should be forced to enroll themselves in the health care plan they vote for? "

http://fleming.house.gov/

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

If you're paying attention, you will hear that what is proposed is very much the same as all federal employees receive. The get a choice of plans and have leverage as a large group. Just what Obama proposed.

M. Lindeman 5 years, 4 months ago

overthemoon (Anonymous) says…

If you're paying attention, you will hear that what is proposed is very much the same as all federal employees receive. The get a choice of plans and have leverage as a large group. Just what Obama proposed.

rdragon writes:

It is not what Congress has, and I very much dought when done with the bill. That it will look anything like what the federal goverment employee's have right now. Name me one goverment runned program that is run correctly? Goverment can't run anything properly, the only thing they do well is spend.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

rdragon.

Congress does have the same health care as all federal employees.

I'm thinking education better be the next big issue. Basic grammar and spelling, for instance. Runned?

vet

I agree, if you're going to choose to support or oppose the bill, you better know what's in it. And what's not in it. Like Euthanasia, Death Panels, Home Invasions, etc. However I don't believe the various drafts of the bill being posted on both White House and Congressional websites indicates that they don't want anyone to read it.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

Word on the street has Oxyclean trying to sign Barry to a deal hawking their wares now that Billy Mays has snuffed it.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

Nancy Boy

Don't be embarrassed for us. You've got plenty on your plate with the republicans these days.

lineflyer9 5 years, 4 months ago

Where can I read this more-than-1,000-page health care? What is the internet URL to this plan? I would like to read this plan and I think most Americans would like to read it BEFORE IT IS PASSED. I don't see how they can have town meetings and opinions on something they have not read. We are SIGNING A BLANK CHECK for a health care bill and we have no ideal what it contains.

wolfy 5 years, 4 months ago

Absolute drivel. I will be canceling my subscription. This silly piece is just a stilted, poorly written -- and far too long -- exposition of all the cacophony coming out of the wingnut echo chambers. And the hackneyed warnings of "socialism" and "redistribution of wealth" are nothing more than shameless sophistry. Go run a newspaper in Wichita or Texas somewhere.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

wolfy.

Come on now, don't be shy. What do you REALLY think?!!

Love it. Hit the nail on the head!

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

Moon, I posted about your Moyers piece accidentally on a different thread. Here's my response:

Part I That was an interesting interview, and I’m glad you posted the link. Thank you. I did not learn a lot of new information, per se, but it is informative as to some of the reasons why this is an important issue, and it helps me better understand your position, which is something I do want to do. I enjoy and appreciate discussion on this issue.

In general, yes, I do understand how powerful huge industry can be in forming policy and opinion. However, this Moyers interview didn’t convince me the protests are “orchestrated.” I know a few folks who are concerned and who have attended town halls in the region. They are well-informed individuals who do not merely “buy into” what some of you consider to be “party propaganda.” They research issues, rely on various sources for information, think for themselves, and observe what is going on in their communities.

What it does seem to focus on is how the insurance industry is motivated by profit. I do understand that point.

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

Part II Here are some ideas about health care I would like to hear more discussion on:

• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. •Revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

The above bullets are taken from the opinion piece at the following link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001

Some items were omitted.

I think this is such a polarizing issue, because it’s huge, and a person’s political philosophies and personal values naturally come into play. You will not convince me to become a democrat (if you are one) and I won’t convince you to become a republican or libertarian. Our values and philosophies are firmly in place. What we can and should do is see if there is a common ground there on the issues we can identify as important—unfair denial of claims, access to care and treatments, and lowering costs.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

exhawk

Always appreciate a civil discussion. There are many connections between congresspeople who receive money from health insurance companies, the organizations that receive health insurance money, and active groups providing instructions on how to disrupt a town hall meeting. I can't get you the links right now. I'm tired. Google Dick Armey for starters.

I would recommend that you watch Rachel Maddow this week. (8 pm on msnbc) You will not agree with her on all issues, however, her investigative reporting is very, very good and her interviews are fair and civil even when she's hitting hard. This is a far cry from the interpretive news provided elsewhere. She's also funny.

Its a good thing to be informed, even when the information runs counter to our usual positions. Maybe Nancy Boy will watch with us?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

"...A disorganized and fragmented opposition is destroying the political capital of Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. It isn't the birthers, the heckling or the right wing rage that is decimating the Democratic Caucus. The self immolation of the Democratic Party today is the result of shallowness at the top (Barack Obama) and inch deep roots in their base (Congress). Democrats like Perlstein are manifesting the classic symptoms of a terminally ill political machine. To borrow Elisabeth Kubler Ross' example, the ObamaCare debate has shown that Democrats are somewhere between Denial/Isolation and Anger in the process of assessing their political condition." http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/08/15/how-the-left-views-dissent-today.php

exhawktown 5 years, 4 months ago

OvertheMoon,

Argh. I have watched Maddow's show before, and I don't think I could sit through it. That's not to say we perhaps can't agree on some possible solutions to problems in the future, though, and again, I do appreciate the post to the Moyers interview. Maddows is just a different story altogether. You have to admit, she's a pundit, as as such, has her own biases. (Wouldn't that be a little like me inviting you to watch Hannity? Not the exact same thing, but . . .)

Weird, but I do like to watch/listen to pundits from the other side to hear the arguments.

I'm tired too. Take it easy.

overthemoon 5 years, 4 months ago

exhawk

I have watched Hannity from time to time. He is a spurge on journalism. I can not equate Hannity with Maddow. Hannity edits video clips to make people say things that they did not say. Yes, Maddow is biased, but she admits it right up front. That's integrity. She also is very quick to correct any information that she has gotten wrong. Hannity lies and never owns up. I have a very slight respect for O'Reilly. When he's not on his show, he's a very well spoken guy.

But frankly, Fox News is really part of the problem. Not part of the solution. Its too bad and a sad state of affairs that so many consider them to be news instead of recognizing propaganda.

Ok. Now i'm really going to bed!

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Obama tried to avoid the fate of the Clinton Health care debacle by deliberately avoiding having his own detailed plan so as not to be pinned-down on some objectionable detail and thereby avoid what happened to Hillary-care. He left the details to congress and counted on his star power and mastery of the teleprompter to guide the process. His plan failed because he did not anticipate the viral public outrage that has since erupted and continues to grow.

Now the voting public is shaping the debate and he is forced to play defense. He has yet to issue so much as a coherent list of things he wants to see - under threat of veto - in any health care legislation that crosses his desk. He clings to the now-failed idea that issuing this level of detail would be his undoing. I have news for him: he is undone. He is no longer leading the health care debate - the people are. He has been reduced to questioning the motives of concerned citizens, and not condemning members of his party who slander them, further fanning the flames of dissent that have engulfed his agenda.

Where once he was the chosen one, without whom the democratic vision on socialized medicine could not pass, he now is it's principal liability. The President has become the chief reason why the democrats idea of health care will never make it out of congress. They simply no longer have the votes and more peel away every day he remains on the stump.

BigPrune 5 years, 4 months ago

I think this healthcare debate is great! It woke a sleeping giant! The American people are fed up with the way Congress will ramrod legislation into law, like the stimulus bailout that none in Congress actually read. The banks got money, but last I checked they aren't loaning any of it out, and now they are making profits.

Abortion is in the bills. Here’s the proof: Amendments to explicitly exclude abortion from the bills have been sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak, Rep. Joe Pitts, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Sam Johnson, Sen. Mike Enzi and Sen. Orrin Hatch. In every case, they lost. Want more proof? When Rep. Pitts asked Committee Counsel about whether the amendment by Rep. Lois Capps would allow the secretary of health and human services (HHS) to cover abortion in the public plan, he was told it did. And since HHS head Kathleen Sebelius supports partial-birth abortion, is there anyone in his right mind who thinks she would balk at authorizing abortion? Want more proof? On Aug. 10, when Rep. Zoe Lofgren was specifically asked about this subject, she said, “Abortion will be covered as a benefit by one or more of the healthcare plans available to Americans, and I think it should be.”

Let’s be frank: abortion is no more mentioned specifically in these bills than appendectomies are, but because both are legal, both are understood to be included. That is why attempts to exclude abortion were made. That they failed should settle the issue. Yet the following pro-abortion groups continue to lie and say abortion isn’t covered: NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Center for American Progress and People for the American Way. Interestingly, MoveOn.org is firing e-mails all over debunking five myths about the bills. It is correct on all five. Noticeably absent from its list is abortion. That’s because they know it’s in the bills.

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