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Do I detect a whiff of Jimmy Carter...? - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Do I detect a whiff of Jimmy Carter...? [Sep. 2nd, 2009|11:52 pm]
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It's a yahoo news story, so the link will evaporate in a couple weeks. And really, the title says it all, so you get no link.

But this is what I saw on my yahoo front page this morning:

Obama may get more specific about health overhaul

Whoa there, big fella! Don't be overcommitting or anything!

Now, whether you think that Obama's plan is the holy grail or the work of Satan, pretty much everyone agrees that there is a problem with health care in this country that needs attention. The method of handling that problem is hotly debated, with a giant heap of vitriol stirred into the mix.

And here we have a President who's stumping for a plan that he himself can't get behind. He's all excited when someone in the audience tells a horror story of health care gone wrong, but as soon as someone questions him on how he's paying for this or just plain calls it un-American, he goes all soft and reconciliatory. We need to consider all the options, he says, and whether or not there will be a public option.

Excuse me, what? Mr. President, you have a 1,400 page bill rambling around Capitol Hill. I'm not sure now if you are actually in favor of it.

I am not married to the currently-proposed health care plan. Quite frankly, I don't actually know enough about it to have a firm opinion.

But our President needs to decide whether he actually has a dog in this race. Either he needs to get behind the current bill, start pointing out the massive cost of the status quo, and actually campaign for it, or he needs to call it scrapped and push for a summit of the best minds on the subject to get together and hammer out something workable.

Otherwise, this administration is just a Rose Garden campaign taken on the road.

[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-03 06:38 am (UTC)
well. . . don't blame Obama if the yahoo page says "he may get more specific." That's their wording, and may not reflect exactly what O plans. Maybe he's hellbent on being totally specific! ;-P

"Either he needs to get behind the current bill, start pointing out the massive cost of the status quo, and actually campaign for it,"

I think the massive cost is pretty evident. Every pundit I watch points that out. (You may guess I'm not watching O'Reilly, Limbaugh, or the paranoid crybaby whose name I've blanked on now to protect what's left of my sanity after watching olbermann and Maddow point out in gruesome detail just how stupid it is out there.)

I'm not sure that the details of the current bill can be boiled down for the layperson to grok. They don't understand what they've got NOW as it is: having to learn something new, when they haven't learned the old, is just too much for a lot of people to contemplate. And even if the Dems did try to explain, they'd be shouted down and it would be chaos. Perhaps instead they should be dropping leaflets with charts and arrows and color glossies from airplanes.

Not that that would do any good: facts don't persuade people who have small minds that are already made up. For my part, just knowing that The Stupids hate this reform bill make me want it all the more: it must be good if they don't like it!

Some of the media have tried to explain what it's all about. (There are tons of others, I'm just too lazy to link them here at 2:30 am, sorry.)

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:03 pm (UTC)
I *do* blame President Obama if the yahoo page says that. Headline writers love definitive statements and action words. The waffling is direct from the White House.

And he is the one going into town halls and failing to rebut the statements of people disagreeing with his ideas. That's losing high school debate.

Nothing in this debate is evident. The cost of the plan is paraded about as if it would be an additional layer of cost rather than replacing existing costs.

At this point, the Republicans are winning the debate, and that is in no small part because of the lack of a focused message on the president's part.
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[User Picture]From: dana3
2009-09-03 10:38 am (UTC)
I would think that outlining expectations and then leaving it to the legislators to actually ~make laws~ would be a reasonable approach for adults. Since the slow-no party believes in concrete overshoes, maybe the 'adults' part was too much to hope for, so now he's got to actually tell them what he wants them to do. Sad development -- not incompetence on his part IMO, but passive-aggressive refusal to do the job on the part of the legislators.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:08 pm (UTC)
But you are missing the point. President Obama is out stumping for his plan in a way that can only be called damning with faint praise. His waffling is sending a message to the American people that this may not be all that hot an idea. That is not leadership.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:42 am (UTC)
Except ... "Make me a bill that magically insures everybody while not changing anything for 80% of Americans that are happy with their current insurance, not reducing quality, not increasing wait times, and not increasing costs, and not raising taxes on the middle class," is like saying, "Make me a invisible pink unicorn." It can't be done.

The reason Obama doesn't want to step in and start hammering out details is because he knows his goals are impossible, and he doesn't want to get blamed when that finally becomes apparent to the other half of the country who still think he's The Messiah.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2009-09-03 10:52 am (UTC)
If he has a 1400 page bill then how much more detail do you need?

It looks very much, to me, like he's been letting the Right Wing make themselves look crazy during the recess, and he's now back to point out what idiots they're being, quash the stupidest rumours, and get on with actually getting a bill passed, which is tricky to do when Congress isn't actually there.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:11 pm (UTC)
Except he's not rebutting when people disagree with him. He's the one who is out there on the front lines and he's failing at creating any kind of confidence in the voters. Our good looking, well spoken president is stumping like crazy, and the Republican viewpoint is gaining ground.

That's doing a bad selling job.
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[User Picture]From: valarltd
2009-09-03 11:31 am (UTC)
I have a theory: Health Care reform is being deliberately sunk.

This is Obama! The man who managed to get elected despite being black and having a funny name.

Don't tell me he can't a put a message out. Don't tell me he gets muddled.

The money from the lobbyisrs was too good. It's going into Dem warchests for 2012. And as a result, health care reform is going to be a nightmare of mandated coverage, no public option and no caps on premiums. And when we complain, the repubs will laugh in our faces saying "you wanted reform. Enjoy it."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:13 pm (UTC)
This is Obama! The man who managed to get elected despite being black and having a funny name. Don't tell me he can't a put a message out. Don't tell me he gets muddled.

Except we are not hearing a clear message from him. So unless you are saying that he is in on the conspiracy to sink reform, you are ignoring the simple fact of what's happening.
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[User Picture]From: infowidget
2009-09-03 02:40 pm (UTC)
I am not married to the currently-proposed health care plan.

Of course, you're not! You're married to Ferrett. :P
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 02:47 pm (UTC)
Ba-dum CHING!!!!
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[User Picture]From: shadeofnight
2009-09-03 03:16 pm (UTC)
I happen to agree with your view that details and exact info is just not there. Even the "fact vs myth" pages are also miss leading, and do not really tell the truth (as I have read many of them, and while some of the myths they kill are the same, the fact sections do not match).

The one think I have figured out, and NO ONE disagrees with me, is that as a working adult with health insurance, I am going to pay a LOT MORE for the same coverage I have now, but no one knows HOW MUCH more I will have to pay. It could even double in price for me.

Then people wonder why I am against health reform... well.. yea..

The problem with all of the purposed solutions is they cement in place a broke system. The current system of insurance and having other people pay for all medical bills is driving health care costs up. There are many detailed articles on this. So the little bit of "heath insurance reform" they are trying to pass in congress, is more or less putting a band aid on the current broke system, and pouring a lot more money into it, such that it will never change in the way needed.

What really needs to happy is scrap the entire current system and start over, but that will never happen as there is just too much money supporting it (it is about 20% of all spending in the country).

I got yelled at as well for stating that no one can see to explain the current plans in a simple way, and that is why health care reform is failing. The truth is they are trying to pass it as fast as possible before anyone can really understand it.

I still fail to see why this has to be done in a rush, and without more research.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-03 07:25 pm (UTC)
Does anyone really understand the current system either? It's har to know where the pitfalls are until one falls into them with a particular test or procedure being denied, or the copay for that being worse than something else one has experienced. So even learning about what we have now is trial and error. Mostly error.

I'm sorry I forget the name of the guy (and don'thave time this moment to look it up), but some Obama dude in charge of helping push this plan through was on Daily Show last month: Jon Steart asked him how this would be paid for, and the guy claimed that just by saving the money that is MISmanaged or goes directly to absurd profits now, there will be more than enough money found to bankroll the new system without making the financial burden worse for anyone. He could just be blowing smoke, or it could be real. One can't prove or disprove something that hasn't happened yet. But I hope he's right: because no one seems to dispute that there IS mismanagement, and far too much outrageous profit for the companies at the expense of real care.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:29 am (UTC)

I actually like almost all of Obama's goals. What I want to see is the specifics of exactly how we're going to accomplish them.

For instance, he says if we like our current health care, we'll get to keep it. Great! How is that going to work in the real world? How is he going to force my employer to keep offering the plan I like, rather than shunt me off to the public plan (if, God forbid, we have one)? And exactly HOW LONG do I get to keep it? A year? Five years? The truth is, there's no provisions in the bill to address this, so his making promises about it is just so much hot air.

He says the bill will be budget-neutral, and pay for itself through cost savings and taxes on the richest sliver of society. Huzzah! How exactly is that going to work? Because frankly, I don't see how it's possible. Until some neutral bureaucratic accounting dudes examines some actual numbers and tell us that yes, this will work, I don't believe it.

He says taxes won't go up for the middle class. But when you look at the numbers, if you tax everyone who makes $250,000 or more at 100% (clearly not feasible, but even so ...) the added income won't be enough to offset the projected costs. Unless there is going to be some sort of magic fairy wealth machine generating cash, this promise will be broken. So, again, hot air.

It's as if Obama cobbled together a wish list of everything Americans could possibly want and then promised it to us, regardless of its complete impossibility.

I believe the reason he's not stumping for any of the bills out there is that he KNOWS none of them will accomplish his goals, and he doesn't want to take responsibility. As long as he doesn't get behind anything, he can point the finger of blame at Congress later, once everything goes to hell.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-04 02:41 am (UTC)
The goal of reducing the cost of health care is laudable, but there has to be some way to translate that reduced cost into paying for the plan, or somehow that cost doesn't really go away.

They have a lot of work to do to make a real plan. I hope they settle in and do it.
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