Obama is and always has been the enemy of health care reform. Obama Dimocrats and Big Media sycophants refuse to accept, let alone publish that fact, so they are now in a tizzy about Democracy.
Obama sycophant Ezra Klein is bemoaning the rising ocean of opposition to Obama and his alleged health care “plan” (which does not exist) as a failure of Democracy. Writes whiny Ezra in an article called It Is Democracy, Not Health-Care Reform, That Is Sick:
What we’re seeing here is not merely distrust in the House health-care reform bill. It’s distrust in the political system.
Obama sycophant Ezra cites Obama sycophant Josh Marshall in his argument. Marshall whines “the health care debate right now… it’s clearly in a place where any sort of logic is incapable of making sense of what’s going on.” Democratic “strategist” Ed Kilgore, clearly an amnesiac who has misplaced his memory that it was Obama Dimocrats who planned to sell the non-existent Obama/Dimocrats health care “plan” via town halls, nows says ‘screw the town halls’. Whines Kilgore:
But I have a different question: authentic or phony, should these protests matter to Congress? We are talking, after all, about relatively small groups of people vociferously expressing a point of view (yes, some ask “questions” of their representatives, but generally of the loaded and rhetorical sort). Should these expressions be given disproportionate weight, perhaps more than, say, the party or ideology of Members of Congress, their understanding of their districts’ needs, or surveys of public opinion?
Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal also wrote an article along the same lines called Health Debate Isn’t About Health. Writes Seib:
The health debate, which now has moved beyond the Beltway and into raucous town halls across the land, is so intense in part because it’s not really about health care at all.
On a deeper level, it’s about the role of government in America’s economy. And that is a raw and unresolved topic, only made more so by months of exceptional government intervention amid a deep recession.
Clearly the question of trust of the political system is a factor in the health care debate. Democrats used to love to protest and demonstrate. Now Dimocrats hate protests- “unAmerican” they say. Claire McCaskill, Obama sycophant extraordinaire, whined yesterday “Beg your pardon … you don’t trust me?” McCaskill said. “I don’t know what else I can do.”
No, we don’t trust you Claire even as you try to hide from your Obama drenched past. As to trust in the political system: Hillary supporters do indeed know quite a bit about that.
Let’s talk about trust.
* * * * *
Yesterday we discussed just some of the lies Barack Obama and the Dimocrats and sycophantic Big Media engaged in when Obama clearly was the enemy of health care reform. Today Ruth Marcus, in the Washington Post, echoes our article. Marcus does add the detail about how Obama attacked, in commercials, those he now has deals with:
The campaign even aired an ad singling out Billy Tauzin, the drug industry’s chief lobbyist. “The pharmaceutical industry wrote into the prescription drug plan that Medicare could not negotiate with drug companies,” Obama said in the ad. “And you know what? The chairman of the committee, who pushed the law through, went to work for the pharmaceutical industry making $2 million a year. Imagine that.”
Now, it turns out, the Obama White House has cut a backroom – actually, Roosevelt Room — deal with Tauzin: Drugmakers would ante up $80 billion in savings in return for a promise that Medicare wouldn’t be allowed to negotiate drug prices.
Ruth Marcus does a wonderful job of cataloging Obama lies in her article Change We Can’t Believe In? Marcus ends with the question, The secret deal with Tauzin can only deepen the skepticism. Which leads to the core question facing the still-young administration: What happens when people start to wonder whether they can really believe in this change?
Hillary supporters do remember the Obama lies and have always known that Obama was change no one should believe in. We remember the threats of riots in Denver if Obama was not given the nomination. We remember the long list of lies and the long list of how the political system was twisted – with Ezra and Josh cheering on the election theft. We remember Harold Ickes protesting the election theft and sounding a warning about how corruption begets distrust.
Hillary supporters remember the corruption.
We also remember the 15 Million Lies Obama uttered during the campaign while Ezra and Josh cheered. We remember Paul Krugman, before he joined the “racist” shouting Obama brigades, as Krugman described “the incompleteness of Barack Obama’s [health care] plan“. Krugman noted how Obama was “attacking his rivals by echoing right-wing talking points”. Krugman made it clear that Obama gives “aid and comfort to the enemies of reform“.
Krugman eventually amplified his critique of Obama’s health care lies. Krugman wrote “Obama has been stressing his differences with his rivals by attacking their plans from the right — which means that he has been giving credence to false talking points that will be used against any Democratic health care plan a couple of years from now.”
It turned out to be true. Obama’s words now are repeated by many to the detriment of genuine universal health care reform. Krugman wrote:
My main concern right now is with Mr. Obama’s rhetoric: by echoing the talking points of those who oppose any form of universal health care, he’s making the task of any future president who tries to deliver universal care considerably more difficult.
Also true, Obama ripped off Hillary lines during the campaign on just about every issue but Obama never understood the words he mouthed or had the guts, the testicular fortitude that Hillary had in abundance, to fight for what the words meant.
“Bitter and clingy” Americans may recall Hillary when she said “we’ve got to put up a candidate that’s willing to stand for it and fight for it.”
Health care reform died in Denver in August 2008 when Obama appeared with Grecian columns to utter more words. It’s a hard truth for Democrats who cared about the issues and health care in particular. On August 28, 2008 we mourned the death of the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt with these prescient words:
For Hillary supporters, for those of us here at Big Pink issues do matter and are worth fighting for. For us Obama must be defeated in NOvember. We have written before and we repeat today our reasoning to oppose Obama in NOvember: Better to fight McCain and the Republicans with Democratic majorities forced to fight than to bow to Obama’s betrayals of core Democratic principles and appeasements to Republicans. Obama cannot be trusted by neither friend nor foe. We want Democratic elected officials to fight for core Democratic principles. Obama would betray Democratic principles, appease the worse of Republican demands and anyone who opposed Obama as in the past would be called a “racist”. We say NObama, NOvember.
Because of the economic crisis and the high profile of the despised George W. Bush the John McCain/Sarah Palin lead was washed away by November 2008. But can anyone deny the cheap treacheries of core Democratic values by Barack Obama now?
No, he can’t. No, he won’t.
No, he won’t because he never wanted to. No, he can’t because his Rezko style conflicts have Obama entangled with the most retrograde forces in America.
Obama recited right wing arguments to hit at Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Now Obama cuts deals with the health care industries. Yesterday we discussed Obama’s deals with Tauzin and the drug companies. We promised to discuss why we don’t believe the “misdirection” of Obama vs. the insurance industry.
Slate Magazine’s Timothy Noah analyzed how Big PhaRMa “conned the White House out of $76 billion”.
Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has cut a secret deal on health reform with the White House. [snip] “The president encouraged this approach,” White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina said in an e-mail. “He wanted to bring all parties to the table to discuss health insurance reform.”
Why is the White House’s PhRMA deal a bad bargain? Because in securing $80 billion in savings over 10 years, the White House is forgoing what could be as much as $156 billion over the same time period. That’s what a 2008 report by energy and commerce’s investigations subcommittee calculated to be the savings if Medicare were permitted to buy drugs at the same rates negotiated by the (much smaller) Medicaid program.
So Tauzin conned the White House out of $76 billion. [snip]
In striking the bargain with PhRMA, Obama broke a not-insignificant campaign promise (“Obama will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings … to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality”). Candidate Obama, citing a paper by Roger Hickey, Jeff Cruz, and Dean Baker of the Institute for America’s Future, put the savings at $30 billion a year, which over a decade would be roughly twice the $156 billion savings envisioned by the energy and commerce committee. [snip] By this reckoning, Tauzin swindled not $76 billion from President Obama but $220 billion.
We don’t necessarily agree with Noah that the White House was “conned”. We expect a great paying future job for Michelle from Big PhRMa or another hospital or some type of Chicago style deal.
Rich Galen too mocks the Chicago way:
In strange world in which Obamaville is located, lobbyists are bad only if and until the White House needs them to do things like run ads in favor of nationalized health care and then lobbyists are good.
So, what if the previously dreadful, greedy, self-serving oil companies sent their lobbyists in to cut a deal with Obama to support a cap-and-trade bill though heavy advertising? Might they trade for removing any caps on their profits?
I think I’m beginning to get how this works.
It works like … Chicago!
The drug dealers have been taken care of. What about the allegedly hostile to Obama insurers? We’re being told repeatedly that the insurers are not on board with Obama. How true is all this? Has Obama, the enemy of health care reform, made a side deal with the health insurance companies?
Businessweek magazine says The Health Insurers Have Already Won:
How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit
By Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein
As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling.
Remember Tom Daschle? Daschle was the tax cheat Obama wanted as Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as to serve as Obama’s health reform czar. Now tax cheat Tom has a new job with the insurance industry:
Sommer has retained such influential outsiders as Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Senate Leader who now works for the large law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Daschle, a liberal from South Dakota, dropped out of the running to be Obama’s Secretary of Health & Human Services after disclosures that he failed to pay taxes on perks given to him by a private client. He advised UnitedHealth in 2007 and 2008 and resumed that role this year. Daschle personally advocates a government-run competitor to private insurers. But he sells his expertise to UnitedHealth, which opposes any such public insurance plan. Among the services Daschle offers are tips on the personalities and policy proclivities of members of Congress he has known for decades.
Conceding that he doesn’t always agree with his client, Daschle says: “They just want a description of the lay of the land, an assessment of circumstances as they appear to be as health reform unfolds.” He says he leaves direct contacts with members of Congress to others at his firm.
Daschle was the man Obama wanted to run what he now calls health insurance reform. Daschle no doubt knows the “personalities and policy proclivities” of a lot of Obama friends and has a direct line to them. We suspect a lot of phone calls from Washington to Michelle’s former hospital employers in Chicago too.
Businessweek suggests Americans should not trust the numbers we are hearing either about profits nor costs:
What people in Washington tend not to discuss, at least on the record, is the open secret that insurers are minimizing their forecasts of the eventual windfall they will enjoy from expanded coverage for Americans. UnitedHealth has given certain key members of Congress details about its finances and tax liability—both historical numbers and figures projected under various cost-sharing scenarios. But some on Capitol Hill are skeptical. “The bottom line,” says an aide to the Senate Finance Committee, “is that health reform would lead to increased revenues and profits [for the insurance industry]. … There will be [added] costs [to the companies], but we’re not sure the revenues and profits will be as low as they say.”
* * * * *
Why should anyone be surprised?
Krugman agreed with us long ago that Barack Obama Is The Enemy Of Health Care Reform.
Obama bragged during the primary campaign in 2008 of his work in Illinois. Remember: “Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama spoke at a rally Thursday in Atlanta. Obama has tried to distinguish himself from rival Hillary Clinton by criticizing her ties to lobbyists.” Remember? Remember? Obama’s health care lies about what he did in Illinois:
When Barack Obama and fellow state lawmakers in Illinois tried to expand healthcare coverage in 2003 with the “Health Care Justice Act,” they drew fierce opposition from the insurance industry, which saw it as a back-handed attempt to impose a government-run system.
Over the next 15 months, insurers and their lobbyists found a sympathetic ear in Obama, who amended the bill more to their liking partly because of concerns they raised with him and his aides, according to lobbyists, Senate staff, and Obama’s remarks on the Senate floor.
Why is anyone surprised. Obama always was and is the Enemy of Health Care Reform. It’s his history. History is a teacher. History is a teacher, sometimes History repeats itself in just about every detail:
The Health Care Justice Act, which Obama sponsored in the state Senate, grew out of work done by the Campaign for Better Health Care, an Illinois coalition of healthcare advocates, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations. The ostensible goal was simple: make affordable healthcare available to all Illinoisans. But the politics were anything but simple.
On one side were healthcare advocates, eager to capitalize on the Democrats having won control of the General Assembly and the governor’s office. On the other were most insurers, who worked vigorously to sink the bill. Obama was in the middle, trying to reconcile a range of agendas to get a viable plan signed into law.
Obama tried to take credit for the work of others. Obama wasn’t just in the middle – he worked both sides to profit and advance himself.
The bill originally called for a “Bipartisan Health Care Reform Commission” to implement a program reaching all 12.4 million Illinois residents. The legislation would have made it official state policy to ensure that all residents could access “quality healthcare at costs that are reasonable.” Insurers feared that language would result in a government takeover of healthcare, even though the bill did not explicitly say that.
By the time the legislation passed the Senate, in May 2004, Obama had written three successful amendments, at least one of which made key changes favorable to insurers.
Most significant, universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy – the proposed commission, renamed the Adequate Health Care Task Force, was charged only with studying how to expand healthcare access. In the same amendment, Obama also sought to give insurers a voice in how the task force developed its plan.
Lobbyists praised Obama for taking the insurance industry’s concerns into consideration.
Rezko vs. freezing tenants – Obama sided with Rezko. Universal Health Care in Illinois – Obama sided with the lobbyists and the insurers. Citizens of Illinois poisoned by radioactive leaks vs. Exelon – Obama sided with Exelon.
Why is anyone surprised?
Obama always was, Obama always will be – The Enemy Of Health Care Reform.