One of my favorite William F Buckley quotes was his response to the question of why Robert Kennedy refused to debate him. He replied, “why does baloney reject the grinder.”
Meet Barack Obama’s Grinder on Health Care, Keith Hennessey.
In a pre-blogosphere era, a slick politician could do what President Obama did at Portsmouth on August 11th with little negative ramifications. What he did was speak extensively about health care reform and made significant and repeated mistakes about some of the facts involved. The mistakes all put his health care proposals in a better light, which obviously suggests that the mistakes were, at best, intentionally careless [see #’s 18 through 20 at end of post].
But thankfully, we are smack-dab in the blogosphere era. Enter Mr. Hennessey [with a name that begs for a cut & paste] and his blog. Why and how is his blog a nightmare for the Obama Administration? He never raises his font, uses no harsh language, examines the logic of positions and comments and then ties in all their supposed facts to either the legislation itself or other governmental entities reporting. It is a thing of beauty.
I’m not going to admit to shedding any tears of joy as Mr. Hennessey deconstructs Obama’s statement [see #15 below] that, “I’m not promoting a single-payer plan.” Hennessey points that Obama does not object to government being the “only entity that pays for all health care,” it’s just that he doesn’t want to promote it because he realizes the transition would be disruptive. But there were a few Brian Piccolo sniffles, as I told the wife, ‘think I’m coming down w’sumptin.’
BTW – The more we hear the President speak without a teleprompter, the more we understand his need for a teleprompter. Just like with his non-apology to the Cambridge police, I get the feeling the President is being exposed like some pre-season overrated college football team in their first game — see every Notre Dame team since 1997. Will the genius label ever be used again by a non-shill without a smirk?
By all means check out his blog yourselves, but if you’re rushed, here are the bullet points on the subject areas of discrepancy [fact or logic vs Obama statements] Mr. Hennessey highlights in separate blog posts:
- The President’s overpromise that everyone can keep their health plan
- Putting the government in charge of your health insurance
- Waiting in line
- Government-mandated benefits
- Preventive care does not save money (in the aggregate)
- The House bill would increase short-term, 10th year, and long-term budget deficits
- The President was incorrect – AARP opposes the bill
- The bills would take Medicare savings needed for solvency and spend them on a new entitlement
- Medicare is not a good example of government-run health care because Medicare is fiscally unsustainable
- Even if the public option drops out of legislation, other parts of these bills would put private insurance under government control
- The President says the public option will keep private insurers honest at the same time he proposes cutting payments to private insurers competing with the Medicare public option
- The pending bills would move more cost-benefit decisions from insurers to people chosen by the government
- Guaranteed renewal and guaranteed issue
- The President says “we may be able to get even more than” the $80 B of budgetary savings that the pharmaceutical industry thought was a ceiling promised by the White House
- The President says he’s not “promoting” a single-payer plan, but the only concern he raises is a disruptive transition
- Many examples suggest that the government cannot compete on a level playing field with private firms
- The President trashes the U.S. Postal Service and undermines the case that government can run a complex health system
- The President understates the annual cost of new spending by a factor of two
- The President says that 2/3 of the offsets come from Medicare and Medicaid spending, while the only public estimate (for the House bill) shows 21% instead. He also advocates a tax proposal that Congressional Democrats killed last Winter
- There are 46 million people who are technically uninsured, but the target population is probably one-third to one-half that size