Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Obama plays both sides on Obamacare

It's almost like he figures that no one actually pays attention to what he says.


"So no bureaucrats, no bean-counters. Mr. Obama merely wants to create 'a panel of experts, health experts, doctors, who can provide guidelines to doctors and patients about what procedures work best in what situations, and find ways to reduce, for example, the number of tests that people take' (New Hampshire, again). Oh, and your health-care plan? You can keep it, as long your insurance company or employer can meet all the new regulations Mr. Obama favors. His choice of verbs, in Montana, provides a clue about what that will mean: 'will be prohibited,' 'will no longer be able,' 'we'll require' . . .

Maybe you're starting to fret about all those bureaucrats and bean-counters again. You shouldn't, according to Mr. Obama. 'The only thing I would point is, is that Medicare is a government program that works really well for our seniors,' he noted in Colorado. After all, as he said in New Hampshire, 'If we're able to get something right like Medicare, then there should be a little more confidence that maybe the government can have a role—not the dominant role, but a role—in making sure the people are treated fairly when it comes to insurance.'

The government didn't get Medicare right, though: Just ask the President. The entitlement is 'going broke' (Colorado) and 'unsustainable' and 'running out of money' (New Hampshire). And it's 'in deep trouble if we don't do something, because as you said, money doesn't grow on trees' (Montana).

So the health-care status quo needs top-to-bottom reform, except for the parts that 'you' happen to like. Government won't interfere with patients and their physicians, considering that the new panel of experts who will make decisions intended to reduce tests and treatments doesn't count as government. But Medicare shows that government involvement isn't so bad, aside from the fact that spending is out of control—and that program needs top-to-bottom reform too.

Voters aren't stupid. The true reason ObamaCare is in trouble isn't because 'folks aren't listening,' but because they are"

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