Obama Sums Up Health Care Debate

Obama Sums Up Health Care Debate


If you can watch the following 20 minutes, it’s hard to argue that the President’s proposals are anywhere close to radical. In fact, some of the more “radical” parts started out as Republican ideas.

Don’t believe me? Take a look…

Personally, I think the notion that we start over on this legislation is just a political ploy by the Republicans and Obama shouldn’t do it. They weren’t able to get the job done for decades and they’re certainly not in any hurry now.

Still, can we reach a compromise? I think so. Because if you watched any of this health care summit today you’ll realize that there is broad agreement on a vast majority of the issues…it honestly leaves you wondering why they can’t just close these gaps and get something passed already.

So tell me why we can’t get there?

Wait, I can answer that…politics.

Yes, it just isn’t smart politics for Republicans to back this bill. Even with all the areas of agreement, they literally have nothing to gain. Can you imagine the backlash from the overhyped tea party movement? Glenn Beck? Limbaugh? Because that’s who they’re worried about, not the regular Americans who want compromise on health care reform.

And so it goes…

  • phin

    Yes, because liberal hacks know soooo well what regular Americans want, don’t they???

    What part about Democratic majority in both Houses and the Presidency is so hard for liberals to grasp? It’s understandable that you would need a big bad evil outside force to demonize and blame for your own party’s incompetence and stupidity, but at what point do you say enough is enough? Good lord.

    And what a politically astute genius you are to have figured out that yes, part of the GOP’s opposition has to do with politics, a reality made all the more easier by the Dems gross incompetence and idiocy I might add. It couldn’t be that you know, they simply oppose the Liberals overall philosophy as well, in good faith. Nah, good faith politics is only reserved for Democratic and liberal saints. But it’s not as if the Dems are not playing politics themselves right Justin?? Nah…

    Still, I gotta say, I love it when you try to give conservatives advice, no doubt in good faith of course, like any good liberal hack. Imagine if they’d have been listening to you all year, why they would be on the verge of handing the Dems a shellacking that has the potential to make ’94 seem like a minor hiccup…oh wait!! Nevermind.

    Onward and forward over the cliff and into the shark infested waters, brave and valiant Democrats!

    Oh and if the Dems’ policies were really as popular as liberal hacks claim they are, we wouldn’t be having this discussion and Obamacare would have passed long long ago most likely with quite a bit of GOP support (ya know, that’s how politics actually works, self-preservation and all that; ask the Dems, they know!). That’s the reality, but ya know…lalalalalalalalalalalalala, I can’t heaaarrrrrr you…In any case, Americans are too stupid to understand and need guidance from liberal sophists on what is or isn’t good for them…my bad, I forgot all about that.

  • http://www.frankhagan.com/blog/ Frank Hagan

    Justin, the problem with the Dem approach is it is “all or nothing”. You have to accept a 2600 page bill because they insist on it being “comprehensive”. Saying that there’s some ideas that are similar to Republican ideas in the massive bill is a little like saying there’s every letter in the alphabet in the NYC phone book.

    The real audience today was the Democrats in the House. The House members will not pass the Senate bill to be able to send it to the President’s desk, so the Dems are fighting the Dems to see if they can use Reconciliation to make the changes they are fighting over.

    They don’t need a single Republican vote to pass the Senate bill. They don’t even need ALL the Democrat votes. If Nancy Pelosi can’t deliver the votes from her own caucus, they have to figure something out. And blaming the GOP is good for deflecting blame.

  • Tillyosu

    I wonder if Martha Coakley thinks the Tea Party movement is “overhyped”?

  • Adam Herman

    I keep on thinking the Republicans should compromise too, but then realize they’d be fools to do so.

    A slight majority of Americans hate this bill, and the Americans that are motivated enough by the bill to vote overwhelmingly hate it. The Republicans are representing most American voters in 2010 and compromising at this point in the process would be a betrayal of those voters.

    Now if Americans did support the bill, it would be in Republicans’ interest to compromise. But politics is like the market in many ways: if 51% of Americans want this bill spiked, then some party is going to be in favor of spiking it.

  • gerryf

    Uhm, what bill? Senate bill? House bill? Obama proposal?

    “Most” Americans hate these bills/proposal because a) they does not go far enough, or b) they are misinformed. There are certainly people who hate the bill on its merits, but those people are in the minority

    Go ahead and ask 10 people who say they “hate the bill” and ask them why.

    In most cases you will be stunned by the level of ignorence.

    Let’s start here: Phon, why do you hate the bill?

    And no fair googling.

    You lose one point for each factually incorrect FoxNews or GOP talking point.

  • Mike A.

    Inarticulate, complete lack of understanding of interrelationships between the important topics, lack of any details, inability to communicate his points with specific examples, no desire to discuss important issues, no attempts at collaboration, and complete dependence on teleprompters. What an empty suit. Alinsky, Alinsky, Alinsky.

  • tiredofrottentomatos

    Repubs are interested in ONE THING: appeasing the insurance corporations and keeping them happy. If the republicans were participating honestly in the legislative process, they wouldn’t be leaving the Individual Mandate right out of the discussion (those who wish to decline coverage who would be compelled to purchase under the current plan) Answer? Because their true agenda isn’t capitalism, laissea faire, preventative care, saving money OR sparing the poor individual without coverage, it’s the usual crusty Reagan-era politics.

    On the rotten tomatos liberal side of things, what’s the point of repeating “avoid the race to the bottom” and “we’re pro-regulation” and “help the guy that cleans your office” when all the liberals are really planning is THEIR political friends getting their way and all that money, no matter what, “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT?” Oh … and where are all these free emergency rooms they claim to be picking up the tab for?

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    phin, go away. If that’s all you have to offer, you’re not welcome here.

    Frank, fair points, but there are A LOT of Republican ideas in the bill, including the co-ops that they’re now calling socialism. But agreed about the ultimate audience.

    Tillyou, the Tea Party had nothing to do with the Brown’s victory. But, as it is with any over hyped movement, they’ll be credited with it since any voter discontent is now “tea party” discontent. Ugh.

    Adam, the polling is true…but when people hear about what’s actually in the bill they support it. The problem is misinformation and the summer, fall and winter has been lousy with it.

    Gerry, I think there are a large number of folks who don’t like this bill because it’ll expand the role of government…and because they don’t want their Medicare taken away. :-)


  • Chris

    Did you just copy that from somewhere Mike A?

  • mdgeorge

    Mike A,

    Your comment reminds me of the “wtf” gap that came up in the comments here the other day. Rather than just say “wtf” like other commenters, let my try to close the gap a bit by engaging you.

    Can you give me some example of what you’re thinking of when you say “understanding of interrelationships between complex issues” and also “important issues” that obama isn’t willing to discuss? I’m just trying to understand what’s on your mind when you say these things?

    Throughout his short presidency, I have seen Obama as having a more nuanced and complex understanding of every issue than I’ve seen coming from anyone else. To caricature a bit, I think “goverment takeover BAD!” demonstrates a lot less understanding of complexity than “we need to balance the needs of the people with the concerns about government intrusion and here are the specific steps I’ve outlined to prevent this measure from intefering with the functioning of the market”.

    But I really do want to understand where you’re coming from. If there’s some complex issue that obama hasn’t demonstrated an understanding of, then I don’t understand it either, and I would like to. Can you explain it to me?

    Similarly, I’ve never seen obama back away from a discussion. I’m thinking specifically of his willingness to discuss complex things like his speech on race, as well as his ongoing efforts to foster a discussion about healthcare. Again, your comments strike me as “black is white”, but I don’t want to attack you, can you please just explain what you mean?

  • mdgeorge


    I think you have a good point about the “all-or-nothingness” of the bill. My first reaction was that these are all interrelated issues and have to come together. You can’t end recission without some kind of mandate, because otherwise all the healthy people won’t get insurance and the system as a whole won’t be sustainable. You can’t provide a mandate without subsidies and/or an affordable choice, because otherwise you’re shafting people who can’t afford coverage.

    My second thought was that maybe the interlinkage between the parts doesn’t mean there has to be an interlinkage in the process. I was thinking that maybe what’s needed is something like the state-by-state proposals to do away with the electoral college. In other words, split up the bill into components that say “these will only take effect in concurrence with any of the other parts that pass”.

    But then as I was writing this I realized that approach doesn’t work. You can’t decide separately on the expenditures from the incomes. That’s why credit cards are bad and why we need paygo rules.

  • Mike A.

    mdgeorge and Justin,

    I guess my satire was ineffective. I thought the president was awesome, truly, and would like more people like him to hlep run our government. It’s time to recognize there are intelligent politicians.

    My comments stem from a what I have heard over the last 18 or so months about the right’s incessant mischaracterization of Obama.

  • mdgeorge

    lol. Ok, I’ll redirect my questions to anybody who agrees with what Mike pretended to think.

  • Chris

    Yes, that was a sarcasm fail. :)
    You know why? Because that’s literally what people say.

  • http://stubbornfacts.us PatHMV

    There seems to be a lot of demanding here for Republicans to prove stuff, while those supporting the President and the Democrats’ plan just make blanket assertions of fact with no back-up at all. Let’s take Justin’s assertion that Republicans once favored co-ops, but now call them “socialism” and oppose them in this bill. What’s the proof of that? Which Republicans called them socialism, and what exactly did the provision they called socialist do, and just how close was that provision to the plans supported by Republicans to allow private businesses to choose to come together to establish joint risk pools, essentially, to get better deals when buying insurance from private insurers?

    As for Obama’s bill (and note that the President doesn’t have a bill as of yet, we still have the House and the Senate bills, the latter of which could be passed at any time with a simple majority of the House, which is overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats) incorporating lots of Republican ideas, why exactly does that require Republicans to support it? Even if it did (which you haven’t actually demonstrated yet, just parroted the President’s claim that it does), it may well be that on balance the bill’s other provisions would outweigh any good provisions, such that on the whole the bill is bad and should be defeated. Or do you think that legislators should, like Ben Nelson, sell their vote on the bill in return for the inclusion of a few choice tidbits being tossed their way?

  • Adam Herman

    ““Most” Americans hate these bills/proposal because a) they does not go far enough, or b) they are misinformed.”

    Group a is not going to be motivated to vote in 2010 even if the bill passes. They are as lost to Democrats as those opposed. If the Democrats were going to go it alone and pass an unpopular bill, they should have just gone all in and passed single payer. At least then they’d have a motivated base behind them.

    Group b might or might not be misinformed. I think they know exactly what’s going on, at least as well as the players in Congress do(which is a low bar). But whether they are or not, there is a significant group that wants the bill defeated, and if there is a very large, very motivated group that needs pandering to, someone will pander to them. The Democrats could solve this problem by actually making the case for their bill, rather than playing the inside game. While Republicans and interest groups went directly to the people early in the process to whip up opposition to the bill, the Democrats tried to rush it through without consulting the people or even trying to make a case for their goal. When they failed, they realized they were in big trouble.

    “Adam, the polling is true…but when people hear about what’s actually in the bill they support it. The problem is misinformation and the summer, fall and winter has been lousy with it.”

    Yeah, and that goes back to Democrats making an early decision that the people could be left out of the process. They made a conscious decision to let the Republicans do all the advertising. They were counting on the buyoffs of industry and the speed of the legislative process to make this a fait accompli.

  • http://www.frankhagan.com/blog/ Frank Hagan

    On the Sunday shows today, most pundits thought Pelosi didn’t have a 50% +1 vote to pass the Senate bill; Pelosi herself is credited with saying that Democrats have to pass the bill and not think about re-election.

    Good luck with that, Ms. Speaker. You might be able to do it … you are one of the most effective Speakers in recent memory after all, showing that you can pass the Energy Bill that died in the Senate. And we know your seat in San Francisco is safe. But the rest of the members of the caucus might not want to fall on their swords just yet.

    The stupidity of all this is that the Democrats could have gotten 99% of what they want by simply breaking this up and sending through separate bills. With Medicare estimated to control 50% of the health care spending within the next two years, the country is well on its way anyway.

    A “public option with a trigger” would have gotten 61 votes in the Senate (Snowe would have voted for it, as well as Liebermann). I suspect the new Senator from MA would even vote for it. There was some support for expanding Medicare and Medicaid for the underinsured with a Medicare buy-in; that’s an idea that could have peeled off one or two GOP votes.

    I’m not complaining: I’m glad the Dems can’t shoot straight in this one area. But I’m not sure its a good thing for the country for the ruling party to be so inept.