Obama before Congress.jpg

President Barack Obama delivering his speech on healthcare to a joint session of Congress tonight. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

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.


Leave a comment
  • Dennis ...

    Why didn't you mention that Boustany has been sued for malpractice three times and doesn't believe Obama is a citizen? Why should we believe anything he says?

    Why didn't you mention that the list of 4 items that you characterize as "calling Obama's ... bluff" are all things that Obama proposed in his speech?

    Why didn't you mention the shameful display by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) who yelled "You lie" when Obama told the truth about provisions in his proposal that would deny coverage for illegal aliens?

    Were you referring to your own column when you said "This is crap"?

  • There is a change in the air and it may be a new honesty. Rep Wilson's slip of the tongue is rare candor from a Washington politician.

  • In reply to illinois:

    So heckling the President during a joint session of Congress, and lying in the process, is "a new honesty"?

  • In reply to EdNickow:

    You're mixing Obama and Wilson in your statements. Wilson apologised for his heckling. Obama did not apologize for his lying. I believe Wilson apologised with honesty.

  • In reply to illinois:

    Wilson did not apologize for lying, only for losing his temper.

    As Obama truthfully stated, the bill does not provide federal benefits for those in the country illegally.

    You should read Section 246 of the House bill, which is entitled "NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS."

  • In reply to illinois:

    Oh Dennis, you disappoint me here. Sorta like Joe the Plumber and now Joe the Southerner. The health care dissent is hardly the constructive work of a "loyal opposition" that democracy requires,but rather some fairly hysterical rage. Lets think about it here -- isn't there basically two fears at work: (1) America's slightly irrational but feisty fear of government ever since we dumped George III (2) WASP America's sadly understandable fear of what the 2050 demography is projected to be [rather than Palin's "real America" of small town WASP cultures,an America with big-city non-white majorities ]. For those whose nightmares are of black/immigrant ghettos taking lives and money from the whites, Dennis check out cities like Oak Park & Evanston where they've met the future and by golly it really can work!

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Jack, here's a good demonstration of the problem. Instead of discussing the four points, or any of the other proposals put out by the GOP and linked in my post, you bring up Joe the Plumber and the idiot Joe the Congressman. We also have to read about WASP cultures, irrational fears, immigrant ghettos and Oak Park. What, pray tell, do you think about the GOP proposals?

  • In reply to DennisByrne1:

    Fair enough, Dennis. OK two thoughts for your (and GOP) consideration First, the GOP and its media-voices have invested the majority of their public energies into scaring the public with mis-interpreted fears of big government & illegal immigrant coverage. Neither fear grounded in fact. Second, while some of their ideas have validity, the preferred MO of a loyal opposition isn't to fight the pre-ordained vote-count with a go-down-fighting opposition, but I would think to accept the outstretched hand and work with the majority to layer some of the GOP policies into the final package. Dennis, you're right, everyone is on their own wavelength. But can't the prime-mover here for both sides be a deficit that won't otherwise go away?

  • In reply to DennisByrne1:

    You want to discuss the four points mentioned in the GOP response? Fine. What I think about them (as I said in an earlier comment) is that each one was mentioned in Obama's speech.

    Can you explain why reiterating items that the President mentioned is somehow "calling Obama's bipartisan bluff"?

    I think one of the most important aspects of last night's speech is that Obama called out the Republican lies and scare tactics about health care reform.

    Can you tell me why the GOP chose as their spokesperson someone who has endorsed the Sarah Palin "death panel" lie? Why should we believe a word he says?

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