Times Turns on Obama; Can Flyover Country Be Far Behind?
The new test of liberal political ideology seems to be, not whether you favor Obama’s health care plan, but how long it takes you to realize what a disaster it is.
The American people were, as usual, first out of the gate to demonstrate their common sense. Although a slim majority voted for Obama in November, a growing preponderance has been telling pollsters they disapprove of Obama and his handling of health care. On Sunday, Rasmussen reported that Obama had reached a new low in their Presidential Approval Index, with health care one of his lowest-rated issues.
Like a teacher indulging a failing student’s pleas to find a way to give him extra points on his test, the Congressional Budget Office has spent all summer admonishing Obama for presenting legislation that will be more expensive than advertised, produce no savings, and yield expanding and unsustainable deficits for the next 10 years. (“Now, Barry, we’ve already given you all the credit we can—next time you’ll just have to try harder.”)
The Mayo Clinic, which Obama cites as a model for cost-cutting measures, called the Medicare payment model proposed by Congress a “catastrophe.”
Seven state medical associations banded together with private medical societies and two previous American Medical Association presidents in a letter to the President opposing the legislation. The American Hospital Association is imploring hospital directors to counter Congress’s bill, as are specialty associations such as the American College of Physicians.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal cataloging the myriad flaws in Democrats’ proposal.
Sixty-thousand AARP members have cut up their cards since July over their leadership’s endorsement of Congress’s approach. Though AARP supports Obama’s general strategy, even they had to smack him down for claiming they had endorsed a bill when they had not.
After Obama put down the Postal Service, the National Association of Postal Supervisors wrote Obama a letter expressing “our collective disappointment that you chose to use the Postal Service as a scapegoat … [I]t was a kick to the chest to have you take a shot at a group of federal employees who are working hard every day to support this country.”
Pseudo-moderate network CNN recently chronicled “Five Freedoms You’d Lose in Health Care Reform,” including the freedom to negotiate details of your plan, cut costs by living healthier, choose a high-deductible plan, keep your current plan, and select your doctors.
The Associated Press fact-checked Obama’s claims and called him out for continuing to tell the same lies: e.g., if you like your health insurance, you can keep it—the implication being that you can keep it for as long as your employer and insurance company would otherwise have offered it without government health care, which is outlawed in Congress’s plan.
The Washington Post, no friend to conservatives, has been barraging readers with columns opposing ObamaCare. Columnist David Hilzenrath affirmed that the administration would not be able to ensure that employees can keep the plans they have now. Martin Feldstein explained that the 85% of Americans with insurance would pay higher taxes and receive fewer services. Maya MacGuineas ridiculed the administration’s pledge that it can add an expensive new health care plan covering millions more Americans that will not cost extra and will actually alleviate the budget deficit.
The Post’s editorial board reminded the administration of the CBO’s harsh projections and warned him not to treat these lightly. In a separate editorial, they scorned Democrats’ stubborn, mindless fixation on a public option.
Obama’s own Hyde Park doctor suggests that Congress’s legislation is worthless and adds of his patient, “I’m not sure he really understands what we face in primary care.”
In the workers’ paradise to our north, the current and incoming presidents of the Canadian Medical Association recently bemoaned the failures of Canada’s universal health care system, calling it “sick,” “precarious,” and “imploding,” and urged Canadian doctors to support free market reforms to the system.
The artist of the Obama “Joker” poster, Palestinian socialist and Kucinich supporter Firas Alkhateeb, admitted, “[Y]ou had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ. From my perspective, there wasn’t much substance to him.”
Air America host Christiane Brown decried Obama’s reversal of his promise not to bar negotiation for lower drug prices, then purred, “He’s such a charming liar, though. He’s such a nice guy when he lies like that.”
On Sunday, Senator Joe Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats, said he’s changed his mind on proposed legislation and urges postponing it until the economy recovers.
Now The New York Times has at last gotten on the bandwagon; you might say they have some “skin in the game.” Times reporter David Pear reported a few days ago that there is, after all, a rational basis for elderly Americans’ fear that legislation will lead to rationing of health care.
Paul Krugman criticized the President’s priorities, belittled his dwindling ability to inspire confidence, and lamented that “his speeches and op-eds still read as if they were written by a committee.”
Bob Herbert scolded Obama for not explaining why a gargantuan new government program is in our country’s interest in the middle of a recession: “Many sane and intelligent people who voted for Mr. Obama… have legitimate concerns about the timing of this health reform initiative… [He] has not been at all clear about how the reform that is coming will rein in runaway costs… [P]eople are starting to lose faith in the president.”
I’m glad the Times is finally starting to see the light about Obama’s executive inexperience and his disastrous agenda. Maybe now millions of Middle Americans who hang on Krugman and Herbert’s every word will develop more confidence in expressing their opposition at all those town hall meetings I keep hearing about.