Notes on Obama healthcare address

I watched the MSNBC coverage of President Barack Obama’s address to the joint session of congress before I actually read the transcript. I thought one of two things. Either MSNBC had reached a new level of shamelessness in their love of Obama or the speech was really as good as they made it out to be. Had the latter been true, I was expecting it to be right up there as a hybrid of Abraham Lincoln’s ”Gettysburg Address” and Franklin Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” post Pearl Harbor speech with a dash of Knute Rockne’s “Win one for the Gipper.” Unfortunately, that was not what I found it to be.

I would like to know what was so brilliant about what our president said. Even if you support Obama and his health care plan, was there anything magical that he said last night that he did not say in any of his previous 28 speeches on health care? No. And he again spewed many of the same lies that were debunked long ago. Does he care about this? Do his supporters care about this? No.

No lie is too great for this man to advance his agenda. He talks about his opposition using scare tactics and then goes right into scare tactics of his own. His lies and scare tactics are one and the same. Among others, Obama said in the speech: “Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” This has been an ongoing dispute between both sides of the aisle.

I think the impetus of this dispute is philosophical. People who are supporters of Obama’s health care argue that the bill does not say that people will lose their current insurance providers. For sake of argument, I will concede that point. Regardless of what is in the bill however, the problem is not that the government is going to make people change. The problem is that higher taxes and government regulations are going to make it more difficult for insurance companies to stay in business and they are going to make it more difficult for companies that provide insurance to employees to continue to do so, which will cause more and more people’s private insurance to be dropped by their employers who will not be able to afford to insure them. It is for these reasons and others that people who oppose the Obama health care plan argue that it will cause people to lose their insurance.

I get the sense that some of the pro Obama people on TV and radio think the opposition is stupid. It’s not that the opposition thinks the bill literally says on page 15 “Article II, Section 4: ‘Make every American change his or her current health insurance provider.’”

No, no one argues that it is spelled out that literally in the bill. But based on the regulations which the president and congress have said would come from this reform; it would make survival impossible for many of the insurance companies whom the left is constantly demonizing.

Another issue of heavy debate is the coverage of illegal aliens. President Obama said that illegal aliens would not be covered in the plan, which provoked South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson to proclaim from the chamber, “That’s a lie.” Is it a lie? As noted, the bill does say, “(Sec. 246) titled “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS,” which states: “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

So yes, the bill says one thing but it is vague about how exactly it is going to enforce this. Again, as mentions, many who oppose health care reform view this as being a loophole. Another significant lie from last night’s speech was when the president said, “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Why does this man have any credibility for anything he ever says about discipline in terms of spending? This congress is full of the fattest fat cats in American history. They have racked up the biggest budget deficit and dug the national debt deeper and deeper. Saying it will not add to the national debt is both a lie and impossible to predict. What happens when it does? Is the government going to apologize and look for a way to rectify its transgression? No, they’ll find a way to blame Bush for it! The Congressional Budget Office says the bill would put nearly 1 trillion dollars onto the national defecit in the next decade. And that is an optimistic assumption, and keep in mind that the federal government is never under budget for anything that they do.

To a person who follows Obama, in last night’s speech, there was little surprise. He tried to appear as a moderate, devoted to working with both parties in the spirit of bipartisanship while promising utopian views of what his plan will produce. For Obama supporters, the response to Obama’s bipartisanship efforts seems to be, “What’s not to like? What more could the republicans want?” What the democrats don’t seem to understand is that republicans don’t believe that Obama has any interest in promoting bipartisanship. In his entire political career, or in the 233 days since his inauguration, when has this man ever shown a desire to work with both parties? He has said things in the past suggesting the will to work together, but in concrete actions, when has he ever shown this?

Going back to Obama’s election in November, the media hailed that he would be a centrist, but this has shown to be a far cry from reality. Although Keith Olbermann was impressed by the effort after the speech on his MSNBC show “Countdown,” when he said, “No one would look at the president’s attempt for bipartisanship as anything less than sincere and admirable.”

Well Mr. Olbermann, I view his effort for bipartisanship with about as much admiration as I do his commitment to not adding to the national defecit.