GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Obamacare Takes Center Stage
ABC News is lending itself to the Obama administration for the night of Wednesday, June 24, for a live broadcast of ABC World News Tonight from the Blue Room of the White House. This will be followed by an hour-long primetime special entitled "Prescription for America," which will advocate the Obama health care plan. The Republican National Committee noted that with the absence of opposing views, the programming amounts to little more than a campaign commercial -- one that should rightly be paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
ABC predictably took offense and claimed that it will have complete editorial control over the content of the program. Or at least as much control as the White House wants them to have. As columnist Cal Thomas observes, "By the way, guess who's the new director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform. It's former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass, who left journalism last year to join the Obama campaign." How convenient.
The network claims it will have "thoughtful" and "diverse" perspectives on the plan, but one noteworthy absence is "20/20" anchor John Stossel, who will not be participating. A pity, too, for if anyone at ABC has the requisite "thoughtful" and "diverse" perspective, it's Stossel. (See his 2007 health care report for more.)
Obama's reason for taking to the airwaves is that his proposal is facing stiffer opposition than anticipated. First, his estimate of $634 billion over 10 years is wildly optimistic. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the plan will cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years and "result in a net increase in the federal budget deficits of about $1 trillion," despite Obama's reassurance that his reform (read: takeover) "will not add to our deficit over the next 10 years." Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) promised to cut $600 billion from the proposal and to pay for it with tax increases, spending cuts and other offsets. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) said the plan includes $600 billion in tax hikes and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Furthermore, the CBO estimates that 23 million Americans will lose the insurance they currently have, contrary to Obama's key promise that no one will lose insurance. "[T]he number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million," the report says.
The CBO estimate is so ugly for Democrats, The Hill reports, that "lawmakers are talking about changing the chamber's normal accounting procedures," substituting estimates from the White House Office of Management and Budget for those of the CBO. So much for "transparency."
Considering the whole of Obamacare, one Patriot reader declared, "I haven't heard health care advice so laughable since Lucille Ball flogged Vitameatavegamin on TV. 'It's so tasty too. It's just like candy.' Has our president been hitting the Vitameatavegamin bottle himself? Not to worry, though. Even though socialized medicine has proven an abject failure in every venue trying it, the United States is such a big country that, like Lucy and Ethel selling homemade salad dressing below the cost of their ingredients, no doubt 'We'll make it up in volume.'"
The BIG Lie
"Let me also address an illegitimate concern that's being put forward by those who are claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan Horse for a single-payer system. I'll be honest: There are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well. But I believe -- and I've taken some flak from members of my own party for this belief -- that it's important for our efforts to build on our traditions here in the United States. So when you hear the naysayers claim that I'm trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They're not telling the truth." --President Barack Obama to the American Medical Association
When asked which countries' citizens enjoyed their socialized medicine, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs later admitted, "I don't know exactly the countries. ... I assume Canada, Britain, maybe France." Not the examples we'd pick to bolster Obama's case.
"It's hard to know whether President Obama's health care 'reform' is naive, hypocritical or simply dishonest. Probably all three. The president keeps saying it's imperative to control runaway health spending. He's right. The trouble is that what's being promoted as health care 'reform' almost certainly won't suppress spending and, quite probably, will do the opposite." --Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
"I do not want the government to run things. I've got enough to do." --President Barack Obama, attempting the equivalent of a Jedi mind trick: "These are not the droids you're looking for."
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
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