(I apologize for not posting for the past week plus. My wife and I took a week of vacation and had little or no internet connection in Western British Columbia where we stayed. Had we had a better connection, I probably still wouldn’t have posted. Here is a piece that I wrote before we left. I should be back on schedule later this week.)
“Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.” President Obama, September 9, 2009
I do not want to “kill reform at any cost.” In fact, I am much in favor of reform. I do think that the way in which Mr. Obama and the Congress are going about reforming our medical care delivery system is badly flawed. I want us to reform medical care delivery by getting government less involved, not more involved. I want to see us have insurance companies competing by being allowed to offer policies that can cross state lines. I want to see most of the state mandates go away. These are both major cost drivers. I also want to see major tort law reform, and changes in the way we deal with Pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Obama knows that there are a lot of people who feel as I do that reform would be a good thing and they just don’t want reform of the type he is proposing. To me, what is “so cynical and irresponsible” is a President who is so bent on passing a bill that will allow government to control healthcare that he has stooped to “lie, plain and simple.”
“But what we have also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have toward their own government. Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge. And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned.” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009
To me, what amounts to “scare tactics” is a President who says that healthcare reform is urgent and must be passed now our our economy will crumble. To me, what is bothersome is that the person who said, “Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points,” is guilty of exactly that.
“Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009
I agree with Mr. Obama that the time for games has passed. The problem is that Mr. Obama and the members of his administration and Congress continue to play the same games. If Mr. Obama were serious, he would do something about the game playing. He has not. He continues to spread the misinformation he hopes Americans will believe so that he can get his signature legislation passed.
“Bogus claims?” Yes there are many bogus claims being thrown about. Unfortunately, many of them are coming from the White House.
To me, it is time to stop playing games. Leadership starts at the top. If that is what Mr. Obama wants, he needs to act responsibly and stop playing his own games. I have little faith that will happen. You will know he has stopped playing games when you hear Mr. Obama say that the real reason for the rush to pass “health care reform” was political opportunism – hurrying before people realized the potential consequences and taking advantage of his honeymoon with Congress and the public. You will know he has stopped playing games when you hear Mr. Obama say that his goal is for the government to run all healthcare and make all citizens dependent upon the government for their care. He won’t say this because, though it is true, it would scare off too many citizens who still feel a bit of self reliance.