President Barack Obama's address this evening to Congress offered nothing new, no new grounds for a bi-partisan solution and no reason for Americans to reverse their disapproval of the whole steaming pile of Democratic non-reforms.
He tried to leave the impression that he is the one who wants to compromise, while trying to suggest that Republicans were only trying to stop any kind of health care reform. Mark Shields, of the PBS Newshour, was equally deceitful in his post-speech analysis when he falsely claimed that the Republicans "have no plan."
This is crap.
What were all those bills that Republicans lawmakers were waving during Obama's speech, especially when the president pulled his bi-partisanship BS? They were bills that Republicans have tried to get heard, but have been stymied by Democratic leaders, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. To keep repeating the canard that the Republicans have no plan in the face of the obvious reality is to take American voters for fools.
In the Republican response, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), a surgeon, noted where you can go to find Republican solutions.
There you will find at least eight examples of bills, study groups and
correspondence that detail Republican ideas, of which only one was
acknowledged by "bipartisan" Obama. That was a nod to the realty that
health care reform has to include medical malpractice reform, the major
cause of the expensive practice of defensive medicine and the high
liability rates that medical providers must now pay. Sure, the
president said he'd condescend to a some sort demonstration project,
and you know what that means: the idea will be buried.
Boustany outline four reform measures that we can do "right now," in effect calling Obama's bipartisan bluff:
One, all individuals should have access to coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions.
individuals, small businesses and other groups should be able to join
together to get health insurance at lower prices, the same way large
businesses and labor unions do.
Three, we can provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor.
four, insurers should be able to offer incentives for wellness care and
prevention - something particularly important to me. I operated on too
many people who could have avoided surgery if they'd simply made
healthier choices earlier in life.
Here's a suggestion: Because everyone seems to agree on these four
points, incorporate them into legislation, and I bet it can be on the
president's desk for his signature within a month.
But no, Democrats don't want that because, for them, it is all or nothing. And here is the "all" of it, as seen by 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.
We can health care reform now. If only Obama and the Democrats would let us.