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Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:46 PM


Obama Wins Health Care Debate


Tonight President Obama did what he had to do - deliver a powerful speech on health care. The Huffington Post has full Text and Videos of Obama's Health Care Speech for those who missed it.

Bear in mind this is NOT an endorsement of Obama's plan. Indeed, president Obama does not even have a plan. Rather, he will sign whatever regulation gets passed by Congress.

Victory for Obama is getting something, anything, passed no matter how good or bad that legislation is. Moreover, we can easily see what he is willing to give up to get health care legislation passed.

For Republicans Something Better Than Nothing

The only standing ovation Obama received from the Republicans was on the issue of tort reform. That is the price Obama is willing to pay to get bipartisan support. All it takes is for a few senators to believe "something is better than nothing".

For icing on the cake, Obama praised Senator McCain. Once again, all Obama needs to do is win a handful of Republican senate votes to have this sail through as bipartisan effort. He will settle for a couple of senate votes.

Jeers Over Illegal Alien Coverage

Measured by very loud jeers, and rightfully so, no one in Congress believes Obama's claim about illegal aliens receiving care. President Obama is being disingenuous and most in Congress know it. However, most won't publicly admit it.

It is highly likely illegal aliens will not pay into the plan but will receive care anyway.

President Obama repeated his claim that no one will lose existing coverage. He cannot possibly know. If businesses decide it is cheaper to dump employees into the government plan they will do so in mass.

Where's The Good Faith Deposit?

Earlier today Caroline Baum stated Obama’s Promises Could Use a Good-Faith Deposit

So what should the president say or do this evening in his attempt to enlist support for his health-care overhaul? He could start by explaining the seeming inconsistency in his plan to save money by spending money.

“If I went to my board of directors with a similar proposal for ‘cost reduction,’ they would laugh me out of the conference room -- and then my job!” writes reader Michael Dunlop, vice president of operations/IT at Parts Associates Inc. in Cleveland.

Spend and Save

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost of various health-care plans approved by House of Representatives committees at $1 trillion over 10 years. Obama says he will pay for the bulk of the increase in spending by rooting out $500 billion in Medicare waste.

A good-faith deposit would resonate with the public after all the talk: 28 speeches on the subject of health care, or 121 if you include speeches and remarks where Obama mentioned health-care goals, according to political Web site Politico.

It would be a lot easier to start with cost containment, as outlined by David Walker, former comptroller of the Government Accountability Office and longtime deficit hawk, in a Sept. 4 Wall Street Journal interview. If the U.S. creates “new obligations” before it gets its fiscal house in order, “we’ll have a Thelma and Louise moment where we go over the cliff,” Walker says.

A CBS poll also found that 67 percent of Americans are confused about health-care reform and 60 percent think the president has failed to explain his plan clearly.

The poll numbers comport with reality on the ground. Lawmakers went home for the August recess to find constituents anxious about change and wary of signing away their current medical benefits and signing on to ObamaCare.

The president is going to have to convince those with health insurance why they will be better off under his plan.

That includes reconciling his promises to individuals with business economics. Obama has reiterated that individuals can keep their current plan. Yet employers may find it’s cheaper to pay a government-imposed penalty than provide coverage.
Did Obama Provide A Good Faith Deposit?

Tonight, after listening to the speech, inquiring minds are asking if Obama provided a "good faith estimate".

The answer is a resounding "No".

Unfortunately the question is moot. The intent of tonight's speech was to win a handful of votes, not to provide clarity to anything.

Republicans Reply

A Republican surgeon gave a solid reply to Obama's speech. Please consider a Reply to Obama speech by Charles Boustany
I read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July. It creates 53 new government bureaucracies, adds hundreds of billions to our national debt, and raises taxes on job-creators by $600 billion. And, it cuts Medicare by $500 billion, while doing virtually nothing to make the program better for our seniors.

The President had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table. Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.

...

We do have ideas the President hasn’t agreed with. We’re grateful the President mentioned medical liability reform, and we hope he’s serious. We need to establish tough liability reform standards, encourage speedy resolution of claims, and deter junk lawsuits that drive up the cost of care. Real reform must do this.

Let’s also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines. I and many other Republicans believe that that will provide real choice and competition to lower the cost of health insurance. Unfortunately, the President disagrees.

You can read more about all these reforms at healthcare.gop.gov. These are common-sense reforms we can achieve right away – without destroying jobs, exploding the deficit, rationing care, or taking away the freedom American families cherish.

This Congress can pass meaningful reform soon to reduce some of the fear and anxiety families are feeling in these very difficult times. Working together in a bipartisan way, we can truly lower the cost of health care while improving quality for the American people. I’m Dr. Charles Boustany. Thanks for listening.
In his Speech Obama was critical of the amount Bush spent on the war. Wait a second. Isn't Obama the peace president? If so where are the troops? Obama stated this will not add a penny to the deficit. If so, why do we have a $trillion deficit. The answer is we count only what we want to count. This is a criticism of both parties, not just Democrats.

Obama reiterated his idea that everyone must participate in a "Government Knows Best" mandate. He did not say what that will mean in terms of costs to generation Y, the Millennials. For more on Millennials, please see Spending Collapses In All Generation Groups.

What's clear is generation Y and the wealthy will be subsidizing everyone else in socialized medical scheme. Some will agree with the idea, others not, but Obama pretends the issue isn't there. Obama also pretends this is not socialized medicine.

If this was a genuine debate, Charles Boustany won. But this was not a genuine debate. This was a Hail Mary play hoping to resonate just enough to pick up a few votes. My scorecard says something will pass. For Obama, this is victory. Everyone else must decide for themselves. One thing is clear: Generation Y is getting the shaft.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
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