Candidate Obama…

by Mike

Tonight we were given a lofty and rhetorical speech that would make any Progressive starry eyed with anticipation over the passage of health care insurance reform. It even got to me at moments with all the talk about market reforms, I, [sniff]…misted up.

The First Thing…Insurance Companies.

The President stated that he will make it illegal for insurance companies to “drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most,” remove “arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime,” and require insurance companies “to with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies.”

Americans who already have health care coverage can expect, “more security and stability.”

At this point in the speech I am thinking, “Okay Mr. President, these are issues that need to be addressed and which can be tackled in a bipartisan manner.” “There is room for compromise.”

On the uninsured, persons changing jobs, and new small business owners.

My jaw dropped when I heard this one, “We will do this by creating a new insurance exchange – a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices. Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers.”

How free market of Mr. Obama.

He also added, “And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned.”

How using one facet of the government in the manner it is supposed to be used in, protecting its the consumer rights of its citizens, Mr. Obama.

I was getting hypnotized by the lavish free market words being sublimely uttered by the President. My ears rang with the joy of a small child on Christmas morning. However, my skeptical nature was proven right and kicked in with the force of a Hydrogen bomb. Shattering my Christmas fantasy that the health care debate was over and we were headed in the correct direction.

Partisan Plans, Lies and Snark.

This is when it went South, fast and furious, “That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.”

Being penalized by the government for not carrying health care is all this amounts to. You might remember from the original proposal in H.R. 3200, that a “penalty” of 2.5% of modified adjusted gross income above a certain level, except in cases of hardship, for those choosing not to carry health insurance. For businesses it would be a 2-4% payroll penalty.

Play it Again, Sam…

The next case in point is the return of the “Public Option,” just in another blue dress rather than a red one, “The insurance reforms that I’ve already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.”

I have one question for Comrade Obama, “Wasn’t the original public option a not-for-profit also?” Lol, color me ignorant in the ways of Progressive double-speak, but I am not seeing a difference between this and what was already proposed.

Then there was this which followed, “No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.” Is the President in the habit of recycling lines from past speeches? It seems we have already heard this claim before. This is nothing new.

The high price of high education and health care.

I loved this piece of drivel, “They argue that these private companies can’t fairly compete with the government. And they’d be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I have insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers. It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.

Oh you mean the state run college systems in which 56% of students pay $9000 per year in tuition? Or will we have access to the Cadillac health insurance which is equivalent to a private university where in 2006 you would have paid $30,367?

Yeah sign me up!!!

It wasn’t my fault!!!

I REALLY LOVED this one, “Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy. I will not make that same mistake with health care.”

Oh you mean the very same debt which you have doubled in six months, the war in Afghanistan you are apparently ignoring, and those evil Bush tax cuts which helped the wealthy become the largest contributors to the “Progressive Tax System” to date?

Do yah feel lucky punk…well do yah?

The President’s stern warning to would be detractors, “But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it. I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.”

Oh, you mean the people whom question your intentionsworry about where you are taking them and their country,  and might not approve of  you?  Those people?

I think I can stop here.

What we heard was Candidate Obama–in a Denver moment–getting back to his oratory basics. High vaulting and lofty rhetoric, slim on details, with a dose snide Progressive ostentation followed by smarmy platitudes, and proceeded by a deceleration of political war,  in other words “the status quo.”

Pitifully, the war rages on.


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About Mike Elliot

Works in Construction Engineering and Project Management. Mike has been employed by the federal government and worked extensively within the private sector as well. His interests include public policy, economics, politics, foreign policy, philosophy and other assorted mind-numbing practices. Mike can be contacted, complimented, or criticized at He is also available for speaking engagements and prefers to be paid in gum.
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3 Responses to Candidate Obama…

  1. bandit says:

    The time to stop bickering is over

    Who is this – my mother? Speaking truth to power – dissent is the highest form of patriotism – but not for his critics.

  2. Jason says:

    My favorite part was the “it wasn’t my fault.” That old — and growing older — blame Bush talking point is getting easier to refute as each Obama initiative moves forward.

    By the way, Mike, The Atlantic didn’t care for it too much.

  3. Red Spy says:

    good post mike. This was back to basics Obama. I don’t know what the outrage is over. The man is a liar.

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