Long on hyperbole and short on specifics, did the president connect to the public on his health care speech? Well, he spent 10% of the speech glorifying America's most liberal former Senator Ted Kennedy, a man who spent 46 years in the Senate accomplishing just about nothing on health care. I'm sure the liberal left in Boston was pleased but middle America was probably left wondering why far more time was spent on Kennedy than on financing health care.
Obama did promise he would consider tort reform to stop the proliferation of legal fees to his trial lawyers supporters but considering is hardly endorsing. He did wallow around on the public option but in the end who knows if he does or does not want it in the final bill. It would seem at a minimum he will have some trigger mechanism to implement it when the opposition dies down.
Of course if I was talking and the evil eye of Nancy Pelosi was burning holes in my back I might dance around the subject she declared essential to any bill coming out of Her House. If he does compromise with the concern of the people and drops the public option he will spend the rest of his presidency fighting her and not the Republicans.
There have been many presidential addresses to a joint Congress in our nation's history. This was just the third on health care. Yet the only time health care reform has been approved was when presidents did not address a joint session of congress on the subject, under Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Some lingering questions:
How will it be financed? He acknowledged it will cost at least $900 billion over ten years. Government has never even been close to accurate on projected spending and when it comes to health care government projections have been a joke. So it will most likely cost far more.
Obama says he will not sign any bill that raises the national debt by one dollar. The Obama gang was quite shrewd in crafting a bill and identifying the cost over ten years, long after he has left the presidency. But in truth the explosive cost will be at the front end of the time period when he thinks he can add millions of uninsured people and build 54 new governmental agencies without increasing the deficit. America is so broke already they can't even give a pay raise to congress without adding to the deficit so this language is deceptive at best, dishonest at worst.
Obama says there is nearly $500 billion in fraud in our current health care system. If that is true then why is the Obama government not prosecuting the crooks stealing billions of dollars from the public treasury right now? Why not prosecute the crooks first, save the $500 billion and then fund health care reform?
How are we ever going to stop the insurance companies, stop the trial lawyers and stop the medical industry from overcharging us and restricting competition when those very industries and their lobbyists already own the president and congress? Nearly every politician in Washington is dependent on those very same bad guys to fund their upcoming reelection campaigns. Are they really going to slap the hands that feed their insatiable appetite for campaign money?
More importantly, how in the world can we spend any more money on anything when the economy is teetering, unemployment is still rising, China holds the mortgage on America, our wars have become an endless pit of money and deaths, the annual debt has hit astounding new records, the national deficit has hit staggering new levels and nothing has been done to stop Wall Street, the banks, the credit card companies and Heaven knows who else from ripping off the unsuspecting American consumer?
As long as the foxes remain in the hen house of our nation's capitol the American public does not have a chance. Obama, Pelosi, the Democrats and the Republicans have created an green environment alright, one that lines their pockets and the pockets of their lawyers, lobbyists, accountants, advisors, stock brokers and bankers with greenbacks sucked right out of your very own pockets. Reform Washington style sucks.