Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Yes We Can," "Maybe We Shouldn't"

Is Barack Obama trying to hide some innate shyness? After being on 60 Minutes almost as often as Andy Rooney and rivaling Oprah on weekday TV, the President will go for overexposure records with five Sunday talk shows tomorrow to be followed by Letterman Monday night.

The All Obama All the Time blitz is meant to explain and sell health care reform to confused Americans, but it calls up that ancient resistance to argument, "Don't bother me with facts, I've made up my mind."

Can one more rational explanation, or a dozen, undo the visceral resistance stirred up by lies and half-truths about government control crafted from thousands of pages about taxing, mandates, rationing, deficits et al?

Can any rewording of "If you like your current insurance, you can keep it" calm rampant fears about bureaucrats deciding who gets what treatment?

Can any appeal to American decency to care for "the least of these" erase suspicions that coverage for millions of uninsured will deprive current premium payers of medical attention they have been buying for years?

In the eight months of his presidency, Barack Obama has been piloting the ship of state through perilous waters, repeatedly being forced to unload billions on stimulus bills, bank bailouts and carmaker rescues to keep predators from swamping us all.

So far, his exertions have kept most Americans on board, as worried as they may be, and there are some early signs of success, but the swelling wave of ideological opposition to his health care legislation--whatever it finally turns out to be--is threatening his presidency.

The President has made his case over and over again. This weekend he risks jumping the shark with too many installments of a show that has run its course.

It seems past time for the White House to stop trying to persuade the unpersuadable and concentrate on working behind the Congressional scenes to salvage some semblance of true reform and, in Paul Krugman's words, "make some hard choices about the degree of disappointment they’re willing to live with."

4 comments:

Holte Ender said...

Not one of shows Obama will be on is owned by media Czar, Rupert Murdoch. So he is not into changing peoples minds, it's all about reassurance. Apparently The White House thinks we need a lot of it.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

Well, BO isn't being honest about the "if you like your healthcare you can keep it." In HR3200, Pelosi's pet bill, it clearly states a few things worthy of note: if you do not have healthcare on the enactment date, you MUST get government "approved" insurance (16), you cannot add dependents to the plan you have if any are born after that date (16), you can only keep it for 5 years under a "grandfather clause" (16), after 18 months the Commissioner will review all people still in their private plan and "make recommendations" to ensure they have "no incentive" to continue their own insurance (21-23), and there will be assorted fine and fees applied to employers who offer your own plan for those five years (110). Tell me again how I'll be able to keep my insurance, as it is?

Fuzzy Slippers said...

I can give you direct quotes and page numbers on the 27 member "commission" who will determine who gets what care, too, and the exact page and paragraph that states that only one of those must be a health care professional (not a physician, necessarily). I've written blogs about this and shown the exact sections that set up these panels who will be directed to cut costs and "reduce waste." There is also a lovely little incentive program for doctors to cut "medical devices and support" in order to get extra money. This program will have a continually lowering "rebase" that is based on the costs cut by these doctors. Does that sound like comprehensive and quality care will be on the offer?

As to the BO blitz, it's just desperation. The new Rasmussen poll shows that 56% oppose the government takeover. That's not good. Remember when they used to play the "hit" song over and over and over, and remember how we all finally ended up despising the song because it'd saturated the airwaves? Same thing here. He needs to take a break from barraging us with the same tired lies (give us a break from hearing it, too).

jf said...

FS:
You refer to a "government takeover" of health care. No such thing is proposed by the president.

To assert ad nauseum that it is a campaign that is based on the hope that if you tell a lie often enough, long enough, people will eventually believe it.