Thursday, October 31, 2013
I see that Charles has been reading my blog. Note his comments regarding Obama's use of the word "period" - strikingly similar to what I had written in my previous post.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Jonah Goldberg expands on his blog post yesterday with a column today.
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people,” (Obama) told the American Medical Association in 2009. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
...that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president.
...Say I like my current car. The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I’m told my car now isn’t street-legal. Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS. But, hey, it’ll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats.
This is what the government is saying to millions of Americans who don’t want or need certain coverage, including, for instance, older women — and men — who are being forced to pay for maternity care.
Notice that Obama uses the word "period" to emphasize certainty. You can rest assured! This is guaranteed! No exceptions, caveats, qualifications or conditions!
It takes a high level of disdain for one's audience, the American public, to lie so blatantly and repeatedly - at least two dozen times by one count. (video). (The video was posted by the uber-leftist New York Magazine!)
With regard to Goldberg's car analogy above - The narrative being spun by the administration is that, sure, most people will be paying more (in some cases much more) for their health insurance, but they will be getting a better product than what they currently have. This narrative is false. Consider my situation.
I am fortunate to have been employed by a large, respected corporation for all of my working years. As a retiree, I am eligible for health insurance that is heavily subsidized by the company. The insurance is fairly comprehensive, and as such it fulfills Obamacare's coverage mandates. However, since it is comprehensive, it covers services that I neither need nor want in a health insurance policy. These include mental health coverage, maternity care, substance abuse treatment, acupuncture, bariatric surgery, infertility treatment, chiropractic treatment, smoking cessation classes and contraception to name a few. If all these services were dropped from my plan it would not make the plan worse, just more economical. Likewise, mandating unnecessary coverages does not make a policy better.
Features that do make a policy worse are higher co-pays and higher deductibles which, in many cases, along with the higher premiums, are being forced upon individuals whose coverages have been dropped. I, for one, would rather have lower co-pays and deductibles than to have the privilege of paying for Sandra Fluke's birth control.
True reform would support the existence of a free market for health insurance and allow consumers to choose from a virtually unlimited array of options much as they can in almost every other market whether it's food, housing, electronics, cars, banks or car insurance. (Notice how many more advertisements there are for car insurance than for health insurance). Even with my relatively advantageous health insurance situation, I still only have two plans to choose from - a basic policy and a high deductible policy. And with Obamacare, even that situation is tenuous.
Here is Joe Scarborough on Hugh Hewitt's radio show.
...86% of Americans who like health care, you know, the health care that they have through their employers, don’t care right now. But you know what? They’re going to care, because some of the biggest corporate leaders in America have told me over the past three years off the record that they’re going to wait a few years, and then they’re going to cancel all the policies, because it would be much cheaper for them, and much more cost efficient, and pretty soon, all Americans are going to care.
Something to look forward to.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
A great post by the usually mild-mannered Jonah Goldberg on NRO's The Corner. He's responding to WP columnist Greg Sargent's call for a reasonable debate about Obamacare's tradeoffs.
"...Obama’s statements were not ”narrowly untrue.” They were broadly, knowingly and entirely untrue. He repeated them over and over again, often straight into the camera. It’s nice that Greg Sargent concedes now that the president “could have been clearer.” But “could have been clearer” implies that he was a little clear about how this would work and just didn’t clarify enough. The truth is the complete opposite. He wasn’t even deliberately unclear. He was clearly dishonest. Obama was stridently deceitful.
...what is so infuriating to many of us is that now that it’s the law of the land, Obamacare supporters act as if all of the lies were no big deal and no serious person believed them anyway. But as anyone can tell you, if Obama had been honest about the trade-offs in his signature piece of legislation, it would never have become his signature piece of legislation. So please, don’t tell me the lies don’t matter.
...Republicans (or at least a great, great many of them) know that this law glided to passage with tracks greased with b.s. And not just about the ability to keep your plan and lowered premiums, but endless balderdash about extending life-expectancy, bending the cost curve, etc. When they pointed out that what the president was saying was flatly untrue, even impossible, they were called fools or racists.
...The president and the Democrats lied us into a bad law. The right opposed the law on principle. A single party — the Democrats — own this law in a way that no party has had complete ownership of any major social legislation in a century. They bought this legislation with deceit and the GOP said so. Now that it is going into effect, the facts on the ground are confirming that deceit. Moreover, the same haughty condescending bureaucrats and politicians who told us they were smart enough and tech-savvy enough to do just about anything are being exposed as incompetent political hacks. And this is the moment when Sargent thinks the GOP should simply throw in the towel and work with the Democrats to make Obamacare bipartisan?
I find that puzzling."
There's more, including a video compilation of Obama's serial lies.
A couple of other We Told You So's.
Jim Geraghty (NRO)
"Wouldn't you love to meet the woman who wrote, "I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it"? Ma'am, this is what happens when you refuse to listen to anything the Republicans say. I don't want to scream at you for being foolish, ignorant, close-minded and so on, but...really, this is what the whole fight for the past couple of years has been about. And you really could have and should have paid a little more attention to all this."
Allahpundit (Hot Air)
"Democrats made a cold calculation. They had the numbers in Congress to do this and they were going to do it even if it meant lying repeatedly to the public about the cost and consequences, even if it meant forfeiting a majority in the House for the next decade. This is what they wanted and now they've got it and they can't stand it. Enjoy."
And finally, Kevin Williamson (NRO) examines the successful national health care systems of Singapore and Switzerland and contrasts them with the dysfunctional ACA.
"...it is worth remembering that under Obamacare there will still be millions of Americans with no health-insurance coverage, while many (and possibly most) of those added to the coverage rolls will simply be given Medicaid cards, which practically come with their own spinal infections.* All together, that means that we have managed to combine the worst elements of the state-run systems with the worst elements of the private systems. We have designed a structurally defective system and entrusted its execution to a gang of politically connected incompetents with less technological sophistication than your AOL-using grandmother."
* Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,600 patients who had spinal surgery over two years. ...They found that Medicaid patients had a 68 percent higher rate of complications than patients with private insurance and that the link between Medicaid coverage and increased risk of complications remained strong even after other factors were taken into account, according to the study, which was published in the July 15 issue of the journal Spine.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Many years ago the baseball superstar Al Kaline was in a department store signing autographs when a boy came up to him and sneered, "You're not half as good as Mickey Mantle."
To which Kaline responded, "Son, no one is half as good as Mickey Mantle."
The Mickey Mantle of political opinion writing, Mark Steyn, shreds Obamacare (again).
No slouch himself, Kevin Williamson writes about the abysmal result of decades of leftist social policy. He offers this bit of astounding data -
...after enduring endless posturing from Barack Obama and the moral preening of his admirers, that is what black American families have to show for themselves: an average household net worth of $4,955. The average white household in these United States has a net worth of $110,729. Black Americans’ median net worth is less than 5 percent that of white Americans.
By way of comparison, black South Africans under apartheid had a median net worth about 6.8 percent that of white countrymen. Repeating: Black Americans are worse off relative to their white countrymen than black South Africans under apartheid were to theirs...
Williamson places the blame for this disgrace where it belongs.
Everywhere it has been tried, the Democrats’ dependency agenda has been a social and economic catastrophe for black Americans — and a full-employment program for Democratic apparatchiks. This is not a conspiracy — it’s right out there in the open, every time a Democratic politician knows that he can count on 90 percent of the black vote without lifting a finger, winning the opportunity to add four more years to the 50 years of broken promises Democrats have made to black Americans, who lag their fellow countrymen on practically every social indicator. “These Negroes,” said alleged civil-rights hero Lyndon Baines Johnson, “they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppity-ness. We’ve got to give them a little something — just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
So far, the LBJ plan seems to be working perfectly.
Not cited here by Williamson is another notorious quote by LBJ which provides additional insight into the ultimate goal of his "Great Society" programs.
“I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."
Monday, October 7, 2013
Peter Wehner, writing online at Commentary magazine, Oct. 3 (Quoted by the Wall Street Journal)
"In the current debate about the continuing resolution and the government shutdown, and because of their determination to begin to unwind the highly unpopular Affordable Care Act, Republicans are being referred to as jihadists, arsonists, anarchists, terrorists, extortionists, racists, gun-to-the-head hostage takers, grave threats to American democracy, the heirs of Joe McCarthy...
There are several points to be made about this, the most obvious of which is that these charges are being leveled by President Obama and the aides and allies of Mr. Obama - a man, it's worth recalling who promised he would "turn the page" on the "old politics" of division and anger. He would end a politics that "breeds division and conflict and cynicism." He would help us to "rediscover our bonds to each other and...get out of this constant petty bickering that's come to characterize our politics."
Yet things are worse now than before; and they are worse in large measure because of Mr. Obama himself.
Now, even if you believe what the GOP is doing is unwise - even if you believe the Affordable Care Act is one of the great achievements in American history - the characterization of Republicans by the left is not just unfair but slanderous. One can actually believe the Affordable Care Act is harmful and should be undone without being "people with a bomb strapped to their chest," in the words of White House aide Dan Pfeiffer. But the kind of sulfuric rhetoric that's being commonly used these days is also, on a deep level, damaging to our country."
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Mark Steyn on the government "shutdown".
"This week’s “shutdown” of government ...suffers (at least for those of us curious to see it reduced to Somali levels) from the awkward fact that the overwhelming majority of the government is not shut down at all. Indeed, much of it cannot be shut down. Which is the real problem facing America. “Mandatory spending” (Social Security, Medicare, et al.) is authorized in perpetuity — or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress’s so-called federal budget process. That’s why you’re reading government “shutdown” stories about the PandaCam at the Washington Zoo and the First Lady’s ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.
...The perfect symbol of the shutdown-simulacrum so far has been the World War II Memorial. This is an open-air facility on the National Mall — that’s to say, an area of grass with a monument at the center. By comparison with, say, the IRS, the National Parks Service is not usually one of the more controversial government agencies. But, come “shutdown,” they’re reborn as the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy. Thus, they decided to close down an unfenced open-air site — which oddly enough requires more personnel to shut than it would to keep it open.
...I would like to have been privy to the high-level discussions at which the government took the decision to install its Barrycades on open parkland. For anyone with a modicum of self-respect, it’s difficult to imagine how even the twerpiest of twerp bureaucrats would consent to stand at a crowd barrier and tell a group of elderly soldiers who’ve flown in from across the country that they’re forbidden to walk across a piece of grass and pay their respects. Yet, if any National Parks Service employee retained enough sense of his own humanity to balk at these instructions or other spiteful, petty closures of semi-wilderness fishing holes and the like, we’ve yet to hear about it.
The World War II Memorial exists thanks to some $200 million in private donations — plus $15 million or so from Washington: In other words, the feds paid for the grass. But the thug usurpers of the bureaucracy want to send a message: In today’s America, everything is the gift of the government, and exists only at the government’s pleasure, whether it’s your health insurance, your religious liberty, or the monument to your fallen comrades. The Barrycades are such a perfect embodiment of what James Piereson calls “punitive liberalism” they should be tied round Obama’s neck forever, in the way that “ketchup is a vegetable” got hung around Reagan-era Republicans.
...Alas, the court eunuchs of the Obama media cannot rouse themselves even on behalf of the nation’s elderly warriors.A century of remorseless expansion by the “federal” government has tortured the constitutional order beyond meaning. America was never intended to be an homogenized one-size-fits-all nation of 300 million people run by a government as centralized as France’s. It’s no surprise that when it tries to be one it doesn’t work terribly well."