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An American Citizen's Response to Obama's Health Care Speech
In the coming days, weeks and months, we will be treated to a barrage of pundits trying to tell us what we did or didn't hear Obama say with our own ears. These will typically come as sound bites followed by lengthy commentary pieces presented as "news". I wanted to take the time to give a detailed citizen's response to Obama's Health Care speech.
My name is Roderick Edwards. I am a 41 year old husband to one wife and father of a child. I work for a living, pay taxes and if all goes well, someday plan to die a happy and fulfilled man.
What follows is a line-per-line interaction with Obama's Health Care speech as he delivered to Congress on Sept 09, 2009. My interaction is in blue and signified with the preface RKE:
OBAMA: Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, and the American people:
When I spoke here last winter, this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month, credit was frozen, and our financial system was on the verge of collapse.
RKE: Already this speech starts off political. What is the implication here? "That darned Bush, messed things up pretty badly but it's a good thing you have me to fix it up. I'm here to save the day!"
OBAMA: As any American who is still looking for work or a way to pay their bills will tell you, we are by no means out of the woods. A full and vibrant recovery is still many months away. And I will not let up until those Americans who seek jobs can find them.
RKE: This man institutes socialistic fixes that only make things worse and yet he has a nerve to act like he is fixing the problems...problems him and his socialistic buddies caused by forcing lenders to give credit to people who never deserved it in the first place until it finally blew up in their faces. The only "jobs" Obama is going to be able to give people if he keeps this up, is a soup line worker.
Until -- until those -- until those businesses that seek capital and credit can thrive. Until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes.
RKE: Maybe Obama and his liberal pals should have considered that we should have never given IRRESPONSIBLE people loans in the first place. So-called "affordable housing" was simply another welfare program that we are now having to deal with.
OBAMA: That is our ultimate goal. But thanks to the bold and decisive action we've taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink.
RKE: The brink of what? Of yet another socialistic agenda? It is not enough that Americans are saddled with Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, but now Obama wants to socialize another part of America just so he can help more people mooch off others and call it "justice".
Now, I want to thank the members of this body for your efforts and your support in these last several months, and especially those who have taken the difficult votes that have put us on the path to recovery.
RKE: Why are they "difficult votes"? This just shows that the American people DON'T want this yet for Obama, he says to heck with what Americans want. He is going to push it through anyway.
I also want to thank the American people for their patience and resolve during this trying time for our nation.
RKE: Why is it a "trying time"? It is a "trying time" because most Americans DON'T want this yet Obama doesn't care.
But we did not come here just to clean up crises. We came here to build a future. So...
RKE: Once again, Obama's "savior-complex" is showing. No one could run the country correctly until Obama. He has come here to radically alter America into something different.
So tonight, I return to speak to all of you about an issue that is central to that future, and that is the issue of health care.
RKE: Why is Health Care "central" when poll after poll has shown that most Americans DON'T consider that the central issue? It is only the "central" issue to people like Hilary Clinton and Obama who have an agenda they will push no matter what Americans want.
I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.
RKE: And just why couldn't other presidents pass a socialized Health Care plan in the past? Because the majority of Americans opposed it everytime. Why is Obama going to succeed where his predecessors didn't? Because Obama is going to force it on Americans whether they like it or not.
It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform.
RKE: Interestingly, Roosevelt placed this issue number eleven on his platform issues. It was not a "central" issue even then and I'm certain a far greater percentage of people didn't have health insurance in 1912, besides what Roosevelt was talking about was more regulation, not administration of the health industry. (source: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29617)
OBAMA: And ever since, nearly every president and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell, Sr., in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.
RKE: This should tell Obama something. If the same bill has been rejected since 1943, maybe it is because no one wants it?
Our collective failure to meet this challenge year after year, decade after decade, has led us to the breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle class Americans. Some can't get insurance on the job. Others are self-employed and can't afford it since buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer.
RKE: Can someone say FACT-CHECK? First, the liberals used to try to guilt us into passing Health Insurance bills by telling us about all the "homeless" people and such, but now Obama tries to make it look like it is a middle class issue. The issue of the problem is found in the last sentence. "coverage you get from your employer". Once the true free-market was removed from the Health Care industry and they instead became reliant on huge insurance companies to pay whatever price they would charge, the dominoe-effect started. Caregivers would charge and the insurers would pay. The caregivers would charge more, and the insurers would pay -- obviously passing on the cost as higher premiums and deductables. In a true free-market where individuals buy goods and services, prices level out and even decrease as competition looks for innovative ways to be more efficient while providing quality. The Caregiver-Insurer structure is anti-freemarket and will always implode.
Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or too expensive to cover.
RKE: And it is only right that the insurance companies deny high risk. This is the problem with things like the "affordable housing" episode, where the government comes in and forces companies to service high risk. This is anti-free-market. The way to fix it is to make people responsible for paying for their own care. This way, no one can deny them no matter how "risky" since it is the person's own money at risk. However, this would take a radical change in how American health care is structured. Insurers really act as loan sharks, though many people gain much benefit being insured, it would be better if health care costs were regulated not by artificial means but by a true free-market.
OBAMA: We are the only democracy, the only advanced democracy on Earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for millions of its people.
RKE: First, America is NOT a "democracy". It is a REPUBLIC. Secondly, we are also -- at least we used to be -- the only TRUE free-market nation on Earth. And despite the artificially high cost of health care, America has the best quality of health care on earth as well. As long as you have the money to pay, you usually don't have to wait in line or wait to be approved by some panel before you have procedures done -- even procedures some panel might deem unnecessary. That is what is so great about a free-market. I can use my money how I please within the law. So, with so-called "hardship" also comes opportunity and freedom.
There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two-year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage.
RKE: Why do these numbers keep fluctuating? I thought for the longest time the talking-point figure was 40 million. And perhaps if the 14,000 figure is correct, can it be correlated that 14,000 Americans are transitioning jobs or out of the the work place? This is again the problem. Health care should have never been tied to employment or to insurance.
In other words, it can happen to anyone.
But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem for the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today.
RKE: Really? Again, Obama's "savior-complex" comes to the fore. How long are we going to buy this line that we are always on the verge of disaster unless we get behind some liberal politician that is here to save the day? If there is any instability, it is because a free-market doesn't respond well to big government meddling. Investors and businesses are leery of agendas like Obama's and aren't likely to take risks they would to advance in a more predictable situation. There is something to be said with status quo when it comes to stability of business -- radical, unpredictable change can often sink a business.
More and more Americans worry that if you move, lose your job or change your job, you'll lose your health insurance, too. More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won't pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.
RKE: Really? Why isn't this reflected in the polls? Why aren't 80% people screaming for Obama to come save the day if this is really happening? Because it isn't. It is a manufactured crisis as is often the case with motivations for socialistic agendas. Americans need to be weaned off of premiums and moved to self-sufficiency. Health care providers need to be weaned off of being able to charge high prices because some insurer will pay it and pass on the costs. We need to get to the place where we are paying for our own care and Health care providers are charging a free-market rate. The solution is right there in Obama's own word, "full cost of care" -- If Americans can't pay the full cost of the care they receive it is because the free-market within the Health Care industry has been destroyed and replaced with artificial ceilings.
One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about. They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it.
RKE: If this is true, it sounds more like a legal matter than a legislative. America used to be a "covenantal" or "contractual" country. Whatever contract you entered was between you and the other party (as long as it was legal activity/services/goods). If you entered into a bad contract or failed to read the stipulations, that was your own fault. However, if someone failed to keep their end of the contract, you could take civil action. Obama tries to use this bleeding-heart story to pull at our heartstrings. We don't know the entire case.
Another woman, from Texas, was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer had more than doubled in size.
That is heartbreaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.
RKE: Again, this sounds like a legal issue. When politicians use extreme cases to motivate laws, it is always a bad thing. It is like when in highschool someone would do something wrong in gym and the teacher would inflict punishmet on everyone for the actions of one person.
OBAMA: Then there's the problem of rising costs. We spend one- and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it. This is one of the reasons that insurance premiums have gone up three times faster than wages.
It's why so many employers, especially small businesses, are forcing their employers -- employees to pay more for insurance, or are dropping their coverage entirely.
It's why so many aspiring entrepreneurs cannot afford to open a business in the first place, and why American businesses that compete internationally, like our automakers, are at a huge disadvantage.
And it's why those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it, about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else's emergency room and charitable care.
RKE: Why do the cost rise? Because health care prices are artificially set. A true freemarket causes prices to level out to what the market will bear. Think for example how when new technological advances come on the market, the cost is high. But as development of efficiency and competition takes hold, the prices dramatically drop. In an artificial environment like the Insurer-Caregiver structure, freemarket never comes into play and thus the increasing rise in costs. Tying health care costs to employers was wrong from the start. Employers originally started doing this as an incentive to lure better workers, but over time it has come to be expected.
I'm not certain how Obama thinks his plan will resolve the issue of responsible people paying "for somebody else's emergency room and charitable care". If anything, under the Obama plan, that situation will be worse, since everyone will have the same "insurance" and will be more apt to try to use it whenever they feel like it instead of when it is necessary. This would in turn cause government regulation on just how much care someone can receive -- socialization of health care.
Finally, our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. When health care costs grow at the rate they have, it puts greater pressure on programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
RKE: Wait, Medicare and Medicaid ARE government health insurance already so how will moving everyone from their private insurers to government paid health care help ease the pressure on Medicare and Medicaid. If anything, more people will be moved into those structures. Or better yet, all of America will be on Medicare and Medicaid but under the new name -- ObamaCare.
If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined.
RKE: Wait, so Obama's solution is to care even a bigger government program?
OBAMA: Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close.
RKE: Hey, I have an idea. Get the government out of doing things it was never meant to be doing. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and the like. Maybe it is time people started taking responsiblity for themselves and relying less on handouts. Wow, now there is an American concept.
RKE: So let me get this straight. Liberals created all these ballooning social programs and now as more and more people want to leech off the government, these same liberals are complaining that nothing creates more deficit than the very programs they created? And their solution is to create yet even larger programs? Help me out here.
Now, these are the facts. Nobody disputes them.
RKE: Really? Who says nobody disputes what you claim are "the facts"? The facts are, liberals perhaps starting most with President FDR saddled Americans with all of these social programs and yet it is the liberals that want to complain that these programs aren't going to get funded unless we make them larger? I certainly dispute what Obama is saying.
We know we must reform this system. The question is how. Now, there are those on the left who believe that the only way to fix the system is through a single-payer system like Canada's, where we would -- where we would severely restrict the private insurance market and have the government provide coverage for everybody.
RKE: How about implementing an American, a freemarket reform instead of trying even more socialism.
On the right, there are those who argue that we should end employer-based systems and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own.
RKE: Exactly! Then a true freemarket will happen and costs will level out. Of course this would require some element of temporary government regulation on costs and will radcailly alter the medical field. Gone will be the days of medical professionals who get into the industry mainly for the money and instead will come people who actually love the job and want to help people.
I have said -- I have to say that there are arguments to be made for both these approaches. But either one would represent a radical shift that would disrupt the health care most people currently have. Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn't, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch.
RKE: Ok, now let's identify what is it that "works". It is freemarket that works. Everywhere freemarkets are unleashed, they drive down costs, increase competition and quality. It is the stuff America is made of. The entriely "new system" is a completely socialistic system. It may not be new to socialistic countries, but to America it would be new and obviously as many Americans have expressed, unwanted. If health care represents one-sixth of our economy even in the artificial structure it currently inhabits, what will happen to that part of our economy when it is completely phased out by government take over? Governments don't produce income, they only collect it. This means one-sixth of the economy will eventually disappear.
And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the several -- past several months. During that time, we've seen Washington at its best and at its worst. We've seen many in this chamber work tirelessly for the better part of this year to offer thoughtful ideas about how to achieve reform. Of the five committees asked to develop bills, four have completed their work and the Senate Finance Committee announced today that it will move forward next week.
RKE: Reform into what? Obama are you listening? Most Americans don't want what you're selling.
OBAMA: That has never happened before.
Our overall efforts have been supported by an unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses, hospitals, seniors' groups, and even drug companies -- many of whom opposed reform in the past.
And there is agreement in this chamber on about 80 percent of what needs to be done, putting us closer to the goal of reform than we have ever been.
RKE: Completely anecdotal. Who is this "coalition"? Maybe they are just sick of insurance companies and are ready for anyone to step in. And who says the Congress/Senate agrees with 80 percent of the Obama Health Care agenda? -- if they do, they too are not listening to the American people. Liberals always work form an incremental level, constantly trying to pass the same agenda over and over. Obama even as much admitted it when he referenced the Dingell effort to pass the same bill since 1943.
But what we've also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have towards their own government.
RKE: First, why do liberals always call it "partisan" when someone opposes what a liberal is trying to push? Why is it always framed as causing bitterness and "disdain"? Are Americans really supposed to have a trusting love affair with their own government or by nature, from the very founding of America are Americans supposed to be untrustful of government intrusion and expansion. Shall we quote the forefathers who were responsbile for creating this government but who also urged constant defiance against its expansion? To Obama and the liberals, they think everyone should just roll over and trust the government -- more "savior-complex".
Instead of honest debate, we've 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.
RKE: Typical rhetoric. People who oppose things are considered to be "phobic" or afraid of those things. There is an integrity in being unyeilding when it comes to digging in for our freedoms. Compromise by nature is giving up. Obama wants us to yeild, compromise, give up our freedoms so he can play "savior". It isn't about the short-term. We see what happens when "savior-complex" politicians come bringing their programs and now we are stuck with Federal Income Tax, Social Security, and other invasive programs. These are issues where the bell cannot be unrung. Either with make our stand now or undoing what will be done will be as impossible as undoing Federal Income Tax and Social Security -- who could imagine life without those programs? The only confusion that reigns in this issue is liberals trying to tell Americans that government-paid health care is their right.
Well, the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed.
RKE: So, what he means is "%$&@# all of you, I'm going to pass this no matter what people think and want".
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.
RKE: Huh? Where is Americanism in all of this? I only see one idea and it is pure socialism. Politicians were not sent to Washington so they can take away more and more of our freedoms.
OBAMA: Now's the time to deliver on health care.
RKE: Deliver what? Bills you politicians haven't even read yourselves?
Now's the time to deliver on health care.
The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals.
It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.
RKE: Of course those three goals will be met by his plan. A closed system like the one Obama proposes will have "security and stability" because it is run by one entity -- the government. It will provide insurance to for those who don't because it forces everyone else to provide it to them. It will slow the growth of costs because the costs will become enveloped in taxation and spoon-fed to everyone through anti-freemarket cookie-cutter structures.
It's a plan that asks everyone to take responsibility for meeting this challenge -- not just government, not just insurance companies, but everybody, including employers and individuals.
RKE: Really? Then how about doing what you said early and "build on what works" -- work on making people REALLY responsible for their own health care. I'd be happy to see the government go so far as to outlaw health insurance companies -- even as un-American as that may be, but it is certainly much closer to make individuals responsible for themselves than what Obama proposes.
And it's a plan that incorporates ideas from senators and congressmen; from Democrats and Republicans, and yes, from some of my opponents in both the primary and general election.
RKE: Yes, yes it is such a magnanamous plan. I hope everyone who Obama names is willing to take the blame when it is time.
Here are the details that every American needs to know about this plan.
First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the V.A., nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.
RKE: And here is the dirty little secret. Whether the plan "requires" a change or not, there will be major changes. If I was an employer, why would I want to offer health insurance if my employees can get it for "free" from the government? And if I was an insurance company, which operates on the balance of a pool of premiums versus claims, how would I expect to stay in operation when that pool will no doubt dwindle as people move to the "free" insurance offered by the government? The truth is, hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance will find that radically altered. After all, Obama told the coal companies: "If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMwBbl6RoIs). So, when Obama tells you he won't require any changes, just think of his statement about the coal plants. He will put structures in place that makes it unreasonable to build coal plants or unreasonable to operate private health insurance companies. Don't be fooled.
Let me -- let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.
RKE: And let me repeat Obama again but superimposing this issue, "If somebody wants to operate a private insurance company, they can it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that socialism gas that's being emitted by the government system."
What this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition.
RKE: There you have it. Why would an insurance company want to stay in business if they don't have the ability to decide who and who not to insure. Could you imagine this same issue with say, an auto insurance company? Imagine Obama telling an auto insurance company they MUST insure the habitual bad driver; the guy with a string of DUIs or wrecks. How does that work? The government has no business interferring in private contracts except to enforce them by way of the juducial system.
OBAMA: As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it the most.
RKE: Attention Health insurance companies, if you even want to have a hope of staying afloat, drop coverage for risky people now before Obama signs this bill -- at least that is the message I would get if I was an insurer. Again, what insurance company is going to stay in operation when the government tells them they must continue to insure high risk individuals? It is the housing debacle all over again where the government was forcing lenders to lend to people who could not afford it. A good contract would keep an insurer from dropping or watering down coverage. It is a person's own fault if they enter a contract that is to their own detriment.
They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime.
RKE: Huh? Arbitrary cap??? Does Obama think health insurance CEO are in some back room some where with a dartboard determining some random cap? There has to be a cap somewhere. Insurance is typically bought in units, be it health, life or auto insurance. The caps are the total units. How does Obama plan to run government health care without "caps"? So "caps" are okay when it is tinkering with unproven issues like so-called global-warming but a business can't decide limits on how much they will pay out? How hypocritical. So Obama actually wants us to believe a person under his plan can get medical attention for anything and everything with no financial or service cap? Will he heal them himself as he calls them to walk over to him on the water?
We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of- pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.
RKE: Isn't this a nice utopian sentiment. The facts of life are that things happen that change our lives, for better of for worse. We could say, "in the USA, no one should have to live in anything less than a 3100 sq foot house. No one should have to drive a car older than one year. No one should have to decide whether to buy some unecessary item or pay for food." -- Why not apply this reasoning to everything and just have the government come to everyone's rescue. Where does it end?
And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies.
RKE: Yeah!!! Stick it to them big, bad insurance companies. Let's expand it. All homeowners insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, for me to get a sound system, a hottub, and a pool -- I mean, what is a home without these things eh? Why should I pay more to cover these things? Power to the people! Community organize!
Because there's no reason we shouldn't be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse.
RKE: Yeah, and if someone doesn't get mandatory check ups we should fine them. Let's take it even further, if someone puts their health at risk by eating too much fastfood, let's fine them (smoking exempt from fines until Obama gets the patch).
OBAMA: That makes sense. It saves money, and it saves lives.
RKE: I already think the seat-belt law for adults is an invasion into our lives since it harms no one but the driver yet here we go again with more government invasion in the name of "saving money and saving lives". We could save more money and lives if Obama outlaws fastfood, skydiving, and crossing the street -- That makes sense.
That's what Americans who have health insurance can expect from this plan: more security and more stability.
RKE: What private insurance company will be servicing us after all of this?
Now, if you're one of the tens of millions of Americans who don't currently have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally offer you quality, affordable choices. If you...
RKE: Welfare is also "quality" "affordable" but who pays for it?
... if you lose your job or you change your job, you'll be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you'll be able to get coverage. We'll 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.
RKE: Competitive how? Who is the government going to compete with after Obama bankrupts the health insurance companies?
Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage. This is how large companies and government employees get affordable insurance. It's how everyone in this Congress gets affordable insurance. And it's time to give every American the same opportunity that we give ourselves.
RKE: So, like Obama did with the auto companies, he basically wants to subsume the insurance companies. They can "participate" but they will have to insure people without caps or conditions? Wow! I can't wait -- sign me up! Which line will I need to get in? Congress gets "afforable insurance" because American tax payers are paying for it -- of course it is "affordable" to the government employees, they aren't really paying for it.
Now, for those individuals and small businesses who still can't afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we'll provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need.
RKE: I've always laughed at the term "tax credit" whether it is coming from Democrats or Republicans -- isn't a "tax credit" really just a string? A way for the government to say, you can keep more of your money if you do what we want you to do. Sort of how they used the "bail out" money to force those who accepted it to do what the government wanted.
OBAMA: And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned.
RKE: "Consumer protections" or "Communistic projections"? -- forcing a business to offer unlimited funding without preconditions isn't really a marketplace. Come to think of it, Obama seems fond of entering situations without conditions (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSFSUbMWenU)
This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right. In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have preexisting medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill.
RKE: Who is "we" here? Does Obama realize that every penny in the government coffers comes from the taxpayers? Charity is giving without compulsion, extortion is when I'm forced to give. What is the government doing to taxpayers?
This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign; it's a good idea now, and we should all embrace it.
RKE: And this might be a clue as to why many Republicans didn't support John McCain, he isn't really a conservative. He is RINO, a "maverick" that is ready to please the liberals at every turn just to get a little face time.
Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those, and especially the young and the healthy, who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers by giving them coverage.
The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for these people's expensive emergency room visits.
If some businesses don't provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors.
And unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek, especially requiring insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, just can't be achieved.
OBAMA: 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.
RKE: Ahhhh, so now we reach the REQUIRED part of the speech/plan. You either buy into the plan or you'll be punished somehow. I'd like to hear more about how these people and companies will be penalized. If we were required to take care of our own health cost in the first place, the penalty would be each person's alone. Perhaps someone will say this is cruel, but it is a fact some people will leech off of others as long as they can. What do we do with such people?
Originally when Social Security was started, there was concern that the government would use the numbers to track and identify people so it was originally illegal for anyone to require or utilize the numbers for any identy or services and until 1981 actually stated on the card, "not for identification". Now what happens? (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_number). So, as you can see the slow erosion of our freedoms have been happening under The New Deal of the 1930-40s or now The Raw Deal of the 21st-century.
Likewise -- likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers.
RKE: Required how? How is that different than now?
There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still can't afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements.
RKE: Specifics please. I don't understand. What is there to "afford"? I thought it was going to be universal health care?
But we can't have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees.
RKE: Obama really means, he has to make sure no one is out of reach of paying taxes to support his required program.
OBAMA: Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part. And while there remains some significant details to be ironed out, I believe...
RKE: Yes laughter was expected as Obama hasn't really given any details except to tell us he will bankrupt insurance companies by forcing them to service people without preconditions and with no limit and that Obama will require everyone to contribute or partake of his program whether they like it or not. Really, what other details could there be?
... I believe a broad consensus exists for the aspects of the plan I just outlined: consumer protections for those with insurance; an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase affordable coverage; and a requirement that people who can afford insurance get insurance.
RKE: If there is a broad consensus why is Obama giving this speech? This should have passed a long time ago. There shouldn't be anyone at town hall meetings shouting down politicians that admit they don't read the bills they want to pass.
And I have no doubt that these reforms would greatly benefit Americans from all walks of life, as well as the economy as a whole.
RKE: An economy never benefits from socialism. A people never benefits from losing or giving up self-sufficiency. Just ask any senior citizen locked in a nursing home.
Still, given all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months, I realize -- I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. So tonight, I want to address some of the key controversies that are still out there.
RKE: Ahhh, here we go, Obama the truth-teller extraordinaire. The man who sat under Rev. Wright's preaching for 30 years but supposedly never heard the man give an anti-American speech and feigned surprise when Wright was exposed. Yes, yes Obama is going to correct "misinformation". Trust him, they don't call him the "Messiah" for nothing.
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.
RKE: Should people who call something "reform" always go unopposed? Are all "reforms" productive? I'm sure Roman Catholics don't think too highly of the "reform" that came about from the Protestants in the 16th-century. The productiveness of "reform" is often in the eye of the beholder. But as for this specific issue of "death panels", Obama is untruthful since Obama's original pick for Health post was Tom Daschle who said: Americans ought to be more like Europeans who passively accept "hopeless diagnoses." And, health-care reform "will not be pain free." Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. (source: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/death_panel_is_not_in_the_bill.html). This sentiment is ALREADY part of the Obama plan. Senior citizens and other individuals that some bean counter determines is a "hopeless diagnosis" will utimately have to be considered not worth treatment. There is no way around this. If government is going to be paying the bills, they get to decide what treatment is called for. No more will people who want to extend their lives beyond what someone else considers reasonable, be allowed to do so because under the Obama plan you would not have the option to self-pay even if you had the money. Now who is lying?
Now, there are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
(UNKNOWN): That's a lie.
(AUDIENCE BOOING) (ph)
OBAMA: That's not true.
RKE: Huh? We're ALREADY caring for illegal aliens. Just go to any emergency room. They are required by law to treat people who come in those doors, no questions asked until after the treatment. Who pays for the illegal aliens now? Why are so many hospitals closing their emergency rooms? (source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150750,00.html) Is Obama seriously telling us he will not require treatment for illegal aliens?
And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up: under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.
RKE: So, how is this going to work? You are a young woman with only the government public option health care. You get pregnant and want an abortion. Is Obama going to say, "Nope, pay for it yourself"? No, they may move the money around but any money coming from the government is ALL "federal dollars". What happens now when a woman on "public-assistance" wants an abortion?
Now, my health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a "government takeover" of the entire health care system.
Now, as proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly- sponsored insurance option, administered by the government, just like Medicaid or Medicare.
So let me set the record straight here.
OBAMA: My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there's choice and competition. That's how the market works.
RKE: What in the world??? How can this man talk about "market" when everything he is doing is meant to destroy markets; be it bankrupting coal plants or to how Obama told "Joe the Plumber" he wants to "spread the [our] wealth" to others (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owA2geM8OGg). Further, Obama gave a rousing socialist speech where he basically disdains freemarket philosophy while at the same time again putting forth his own ego as a symbol of "adult supervision" (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpO2j8Hk3kY)
Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company.
RKE: Wait, I thought America had 57 states according to Obama? (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws) And they thought Dan Quayle made major flubs. Anyhow, how does Obama think that moving the health care system from being controlled by five or fewer companies to being controlled by the government would be a move in the market, choice and competition direction? How many times can this man contradict his own logic?
And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly -- by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.
RKE: When the government controls the entire thing, who will be the competition? Speaking of cherry-picking, maybe fruit growers should apply this Obamaism and pick good and sickly fruit and charge consumers the same price for both. Better yet, maybe they could force us to buy the sickly fruit. This is what happens when we elect a person that has never had a real world job. Give me a guy who has managed a McDonalds for a few years over Obama any day.
Insurance executives don't do this because they're bad people. They do it because it's profitable. As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill, they are rewarded for it.
RKE: Ok, which is it Mr. Obama, is it about the markets (which by nature are in it to make money) or are the insurance companies just big meanies who want to drop people's coverage because they have preexisting zits? Of course the bottom line of ANY company, insurance or otherwise is to remove that which is a drain on their profits, that which will cause them to lose MARKET. That's REALLY how the market works. Seriously, maybe you should have managed a Micky-D's before you tried out for this prez gig. Hot fries up!
All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations."
RKE: More not so subtle; "Freemarket economic philosophy is a failure" mumbo-jumbo. How dare a business expect to make a profit. They should follow the government's example of running businesses, like Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac -- they were huge successes.
Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable.
RKE: Really, then why do you want to bankrupt coal companies Mr. Obama? What do you think is going to happen to insurance companies with your type of "accountability" where they are told they cannot turn away risky investments and must provide unlimited coverage no matter what? Besides, those friends and neighbors can get a job with your new government health care industry, right? Or perhaps they can work in the yet to materialize "green" jobs running a wind mill on a sunny day with no breeze. Perfect!
OBAMA: And 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.
RKE: Honest? A man who won't even release his long form birth certificate to prove he is even legal to be president wants to keep others "honest"? A man who lied in his own book about his family history dares to keep others "honest" (source: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=109408) Slick Willy can learn a thing or two from Obama, depending what the definition of "is" is.
Now, let me -- let me be clear.
RKE: Speaking of Clinton, wasn't that his line? (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiIP_KDQmXs),/font>
Let me be clear, it would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.
RKE: Huh? All of these "requirements" and it somehow isn't going to affect us? How dumb does this guy think Americans are...nevermind, he is in the Oval Office soooo, I guess that question is answered.
Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don't like this idea. 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've insisted that, like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums its collects.
RKE: Just who are the "allies" of the insurance companies? You mean the "friends and neighbors" who work for these companies aren't allied with them? You can't have it both ways Obama; either stick with the evil big company motif or unplug the teleprompter and speak like the true Van Jonean socialist you are. How can your public option stay aflot when your government insurance company isn't going to operate like businesses have operated since the beginning of time -- to make a profit but limiting overhead and expense. According to Obama, there will be no one turned down. No caps of funding for care yet he also claims he won't deny senior citizens any care which Daschle considers a "hopeless diagnosis". Wow! Maybe Obama is a "Messiah" if he can pull all of this off.
But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits and excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers and 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.
RKE: Overhead?, you mean like not dropping more fries into the deep-fryer than you need to serve the typical and studied customer-based. Did Obama learn this at his real job? -- Oh, I forgot, he never had a real job. He went from college to community organizer to politician. Obama, if you wanted to be an owner of an insurance company (or an auto company) why didn't you just start your own company instead of weaseling your way into these companies through the government? As for public colleges. Who if they had the money would actually go to a public college? No slam on public colleges but if you have the money, why not get the best education money can buy? Obama's father certainly thought so -- so much that he wanted to attend Harvard instead of New School, even though New School would have paid for everything thing, including the care and housing of little Baraky jr. (source: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=109408)
OBAMA: Now, it is...
It's -- it's worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I've proposed tonight. But its impact shouldn't be exaggerated by the left or the right or the media. It is only one part of my plan, and shouldn't be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles.
RKE: I didn't think there were going to be any "usual Washington ideological battles" once Obama became a WH resident. I was led to believe the sun would shine every day and flowers would never fade. Can I have my vote back? oh wait, I didn't vote for Obama. Maybe all you guilt-ridden people who voted for him should ask for your vote back.
To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage available for those without it.
RKE: Haha, "progressive friends" is code for left-wing nutcases. Obama should wake up, their driving idea is to return this land to the unspoiled native country it was before those evil Europeans came here and turned it into the beacon of light it is today. Obama's "progressive friends" want to live in a world where every one is as bad off as them. Practically homeless, existing on Ramen noodles, going days without a shower and too poor to afford deoderant (or just too lazy to put it on), but hugging trees and saving spotted cockroaches from evil corporations. Power to the people dude! Che!
The public option -- the public option is only a means to that end, and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal.
RKE: Incrementalism is ALWAYS the means to a socialists ends. He knows he can't get people to buy into the whole thing at once so he gives it to them in bite size chunck until he finally implements the entire program.
And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.
RKE: Riiiiiight. Obama you haven't listened so far and you obviously aren't going to listen now. You already told us up front that you were going to push this through without or without Republican (or even American citizen) support. Don't play the puss-in-boots routine now. Be a big man and take all the "credit" for further socializing America. Let that be your legacy as America's first HALF "black president" Besides, I thought Clinton claimed to be first black president. (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zARV48q8Ca0).
OBAMA: For example -- for example, some have suggested that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others have proposed a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan.
These are all constructive ideas worth exploring. But I will not back down on the basic principle that, if Americans can't find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.
RKE: There is that "we" word again. Obama, who are these "we"? You mean "We the people..."
And -- and I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.
RKE: Wow, Obama is going to have the time to do this? Has he called any government office and tried to get past a bureaucrat? What happens in 2012 when Obama is no longer president? Who is going to "make sure" then? Oh wait, we elected Obama as our king so that we pledge to be servants to him. Long live King Obama! (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51kAw4OTlA0)
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public, and that's how we pay for this plan.
Now, Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future.
RKE: Yes indeed Obama is the Messiah! He is able to implement massive spending programs without spending! Truly amazing!
I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit now or in the future -- period.
RKE: As we said in the 1980s when we were fooling -- SIKE!
OBAMA: I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit now or in the future. Period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promise don't materialize.
RKE: Whoops! if that were true your further-leftist buddies aren't going to like that...well unless you mean cutting that evil military budget. Speaking of the 1980s, remember this paper you wrote in 1983 called "Breaking the War Mentality" where you talked favorable of groups advocating complete disarmament? (source: http://documents.nytimes.com/obama-s-1983-college-magazine-article#p=1) Maybe that "Dream of Barak" will come true eh?
Now, 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.
RKE: Weird, I thought most of the problem was a collapse in the fake "affordable housing". I could have swore that was the issue you Demcrats used to make it look like Bush did such a horrible job that we needed to scrap freemarket principles altogether an elect an unexperienced community organizer. I could have swore that after Bush wrongly started the bail out ball rolling that Barak Obama jr. pushed it up the hill further and further.
I will not make that same mistake with health care.
RKE: So who is going to pay for the health care for everyone else? Oh yeah, "we".
Second, we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care don't make us any healthier. That's not my judgment. It's the judgment of medical professionals across this country.
RKE: Yeah, get rid of that waste. American health care is awful. I mean it is a waste that most hospital rooms are only rooming two people. There is plenty of space, why not add a couple more people. And how about those rubber gloves? Surely they can be used multiple times. Seriously, Obama can you be specific and truthful about anything? The judgment of people around the world is that America has the best quality of health care, this is the reason so many come here for treatment.
And this is also true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, I want to speak directly to seniors for a moment, because Medicare is another issue that's been subjected to demagoguery and distortion during the course of this debate.
More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years.
RKE: Why struggle when according to Daschle you senior citizens just need to accept your fate and die. You outlived your usefulness. It is time to move on and stop polluting the environment with your unproductive carbon emissions. Someone may need to cap you...and quick.
OBAMA: That's how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. And that...
RKE: Yes, Federal Income Tax, Social Security, Welfare too needs to passed down from one generation to the next...and most of the time when it comes to welfare it is.
That is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.
RKE: That's because in essence the entire plan is Medicare for everyone!!! YAY!
The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies...
RKE: Here we are again with a non-business man trying to tell us how businesses are to be ran. Wait, I was wrong Medicare isn't a business, it's a government program funded by taxpayers. I guess that is a business according to liberals.
... subsidies that do everything to pad their profits, but don't improve the care of seniors.
And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.
RKE: Wait, if Medicare is ALREADY a government run program, how did all of this profit junk get in there? Hmmm.... So, there IS going to be a "panel" but Obama likes the word "commission". It sounds more like a community. What if these "experts" determine "waste" is paying for a 95 year old guy to have a pace maker or a hip replacement? Again, Daschle already says as much.
Now, these steps will ensure that you -- America's seniors -- get the benefits you've been promised. They will ensure that Medicare is there for future generations. And we can use some of the savings to fill the gap in coverage that forces too many seniors to pay thousands of dollars a year out of their own pockets for prescription drugs.
RKE: God forbid anyone pay for ANYTHING out of their own pockets!!! Let us have nationalized housing, food, employment, transportation and everything. Oh what a paradise. We could name it New Cuba or West Korea!
That's what this plan will do for you. So don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut -- especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past...
RKE: Yeah, those are just "scary stories" Don't worry you can trust ole Papa Barak. The Messiah is here to save you from all those evil capitalists out there who are just trying to make money off you to pay for those friends and neighbors who work for them. Soon, Barak will bankrupt them just like he plans to do to the coal companies. And never mind that a man who unlike almost all of the presidents before him won't release his own medical and education records claims others are "spreading tall tales". (source: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=100613)
... and just this year supported a budget that would essentially have turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program.
OBAMA: That will not happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.
RKE: Well of course you will protect EVERY social program initated by your fellow socialists.
Now, because Medicare is such a big part of the health care system, making the program more efficient can help usher in changes in the way we deliver health care that can reduce costs for everybody.
We have long known that some places, like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah or the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania, offer high-quality care at costs below average.
So the commission can help encourage the adoption of these common-sense best practices by doctors and medical professionals throughout the system -- everything from reducing hospital infection rates to encouraging better coordination between teams of doctors.
Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Now, much...
RKE: Once again with the non-descript waste-cutting plan. Is it "common sense" to give elderly people liver and heart transplants when younger folks are waiting in line? I mean, some of these older folks might only be alive another 5-10 years. What a waste eh? That is exactly what government oversight will do. This is America, and by-golly if someone has the money to pay for it, if they want to have both of their legs cut off and reattached for no apparent reason -- so be it. It is none of my business as long as they pay for it. Besides, I'm a little bit partial to this kind of "Common Sense" -- Obama not really going up in America may have never heard of this attribute of the American spirit. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet))
Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers.
RKE: So Obama plans to sock it the drug and insurance companies. Does he mean the same companies where our "friends and neighbors" work? Does he mean how he plans to sock it to the coal companies to fund his green initiatives? Yeah, that will really help the economy and jobs.
And this reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money -- an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts.
RKE: So Obama found some Republicans that also hate capitalism?
And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long run.
RKE: Does he mean the same "experts" that can't even operate the government within budget? The same "experts" that pass bills admitting they have not read them? The same "experts" that Obama has to decline appointment once it is found they were engage in tax-evasion?
Now, finally, many in this chamber, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the costs of health care.
RKE: Time to play the other side of the aisle.
Now -- there you go.
RKE: "They love me!"
There you go.
RKE: "I have the dumb dolts eating from my hand!"
Now, I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I've talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So -- so -- so I'm proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know...
RKE: Of course it can't be the silver bullet, it doesn't give anything to people so they'll vote for more Democrats.
... I know that the Bush administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these ideas. I think it's a good idea, and I'm directing my secretary of health and human services to move forward on this initiative today.
RKE: Whoa there Baraky! You can't do anything that Bush tried doing. What's next? Will you do like Bush did and cause hurricanes to take out your political enemies?
Now, add it all up and the plan I'm proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years, less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans that Congress passed at the beginning of the previous administration.
RKE: And less than all the bail outs you have done so far. But we all know THAT isn't going to be the price tag. There is actually nothing Obama said that we CAN "add up". He gave us no quantifiable details. His plan somehow lets people with preexisting ailments have unlimited health care, without deficit and somehow he came up with a $900 billion number. Maybe we'll get the money from the other 7 unknown states that Obama visited?
OBAMA: Now, most of these costs will be paid for with money already being spent -- but spent badly -- in the existing health care system. The plan will not add to our deficit. The middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes. And if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of 1 percent each year -- one-tenth of 1 percent -- it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term.
RKE: More "arbitrary" numbers flying around. Maybe we middle class won;t "realize" higher taxes because we will be so amazed by Barak's ability to dupe us while telling us exactly how he plans to dupe us yet we still are in awe of him.
Now, this is the plan I'm proposing. It's a plan that incorporates ideas from many of the people in this room tonight -- Democrats and Republicans. And I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.
RKE: Ok so how can we compare "serious proposal" with what you just set out? You gave us a bunch of non-specifics, made up some numbers out of thin air and expect us to cheer. Mr. Obama, will you be there to listen when the American people tell you they don't want to redistribute the wealth, or the hard earned lives to loafs that mooch off others?
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 to improve it.
RKE: So your mind is made up eh? You are going to implement this social agenda no matter what. Improving it is killing it and getting back to a true freemarket system. I agree health care cost are out of whack, but it is because people have long accepted that this expense isn't our own responsibility and now Obama just wants to make it even less our responsibility. That is un-American.
I won't 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 this plan, we will call you out. And I will not...
RKE: First, are Americans opposing your plan to automatically be labeled "special interests"? I'd think you'd be more careful with labels since you are a fellow associated with ACORN. Talk about special interest. Secondly, there are many things I'd like to keep exactly the way they are; my marriage, my housing status, my employment status -- contrary to your agenda, "change" isn't always good especially when it is the only thing found in the bottom of a person's wallet after paying for massive social programs. Thirdly, how can anyone "misrepresent" a plan you yourself have not really detailed in any specific manner? We are simply stating the logical conclusions of what you have said. Here's a simply one for you; Little Jenny is selling lemonade and it costs her $2.00 in material -- ice, mix, water, cups. She is able to sell 50 cups before her supplies are gone? How much must Jenny charge for each cup to make a profit? Well, within Obama-nation she should have no expectations about making a profit. She should sell the lemonade from the goodness of her heart --better yet she should have others pay for the materials and give the lemonade away for free. How about this, I'll call you out to release your REAL birth certificate and other evidence that you are an American citizen and you can call me out for standing up for the freemarket and American concepts. Deal?
And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time; not now.
RKE: You will not accept? Who says it is only up to you oh King Obama?
OBAMA: Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing. Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it the most. And more will die as a result.
RKE: What was that you were saying about people telling scary stories??? You are sooooo full of it Mr. Obama. Any hardship that is happening is because a true freemarket has not flourished within health care. We are forced to maintain huge social programs and now you want to burden us with yet another one.
We know these things to be true.
That is why we cannot fail. Because there are too many Americans counting on us to succeed -- the ones who suffer silently and the ones who shared their stories with us at town halls, in e-mails, and in letters.
RKE: Which town halls were you attending? Maybe you've only be watching CNN?
I received one of those letters a few days ago. It was from our beloved friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy. He had written it back in May, shortly after he was told that his illness was terminal. He asked that it be delivered upon his death.
RKE: Shameless, will even use a dead man to guilt people into passing this thing.
In it, he spoke about what a happy time his last months were, thanks to the love and support of family and friends, his wife, Vicki, his amazing children, who are all here tonight.
And he expressed confidence that this would be the year that health care reform -- "that great unfinished business of our society," he called it -- would finally pass.
RKE: Now we have to pass it. A man who spent his whole life promoting an un-American agenda wants it passed so we should pass it no matter what.
He repeated the truth that health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that "it concerns more than material things."
RKE: It is only a strain on the future because it cannot be maintained as an artificial market.
"What we face," he wrote, "is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country."
RKE: Morals? From a man who left a woman dead in a watery grave? Yeah, it is relevant. Any other person would have went to prison. This guy was able to pass it off as a "personal issue". I don't want to hear about morals and justice from a man like this; living or otherwise.
One of the unique and wonderful things about America has always been our self-reliance, our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom, and our healthy skepticism of government. And figuring out the appropriate size and role of government has always been a source of rigorous and, yes, sometimes angry debate. That's our history.
RKE: So instead you want to destroy self-reliance at every turn and create dependents? I am convinced that Obama isn't an American -- not simply because his questionable birth place, but because the man fundamentally doesn't know what it really means to be an American. He has spent too much time living outside of America to realize what the REAL America is about.
For some of Ted Kennedy's critics, his brand of liberalism represented an affront to American liberty. In their minds, his passion for universal health care was nothing more than a passion for big government. But those of us who knew Teddy and worked with him here -- people of both parties -- know that what drove him was something more.
His friend, Orrin Hatch, he knows that. They worked together to provide children with health insurance. His friend, John McCain, knows that. They worked together on a patients' bill of rights. His friend, Chuck Grassley, knows that. They worked together to provide health care to children with disabilities.
On issues like these, Ted Kennedy's passion was born not of some rigid ideology, but of his own experience -- the experience of having two children stricken with cancer.
RKE: What is wrong with ideology? -- ideas formed this more perfect union, not experiences, no matter how heart-touching. This appeal to Kennedy isn't doing anything for me but showing me just how desperate Obama is to guilt people into supporting his plan.
OBAMA: He never forgot the sheer terror and helplessness that any parent feels when a child is badly sick. And he was able to imagine what it must be like for those without insurance, what it'd be like to have to say to a wife or a child or an aging parent, "There is something that could make you better, but I just can't afford it."
RKE: I'm sure he was thinking that since Kennedy never "experienced" middle class let alone poverty. Please. What was that about tall tales?
That large-heartedness, that concern and regard for the plight of others is not a partisan feeling. It's not a Republican or a Democratic feeling. It, too, is part of the American character.
RKE: Good, then show us you are serious and convince the Kennedy's to sell their estate; fore go the Kennedy library and give it all away to help the "plight of others". Just leave me out of your guilt trips.
Our ability to stand in other people's shoes. A recognition that we are all in this together, that when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand. A belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play. And an acknowledgement that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.
RKE: But that is not what your plan does. It instead, like all social programs, takes from those who are working hard and being responsible and as you yourself said, "spreads the wealth" to others -- rewarding them for no working hard and not being responsible. Quite frankly, we REAL Americans are sick of you bleeding blue-bloods extorting our livelihood to soothe your own guilt for living a posh life you most likely inherited or obtained by not holding REAL jobs.
This has always been the history of our progress.
In 1935, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism. But the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it.
RKE: It HAS led to socialism. And who says we are better for it? We certainly aren't more self-reliant. Notice that liberals either manufacture or take opportunity in crisis to implement programs otherwise rational American citizenry would never put up with. After all, your buddy Rahm Emanuel believes crises are opportunities to be exploited (source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mzcbXi1Tkk&NR)
In 1965, when some argued that Medicare represented a government takeover of health care, members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, did not back down.
RKE: All this is saying is that politicians do things to Americans even when most Americans don't want these things to be done. And yet you seem to be proud of that?
OBAMA: They joined together so that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.
You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem. They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom.
RKE: And who gets to decide these things? This is not a monarchy...yet.
But they also understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, the vulnerable can be exploited.
And they knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter -- that at that point we don't merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves.
That was true then. It remains true today.
I understand how difficult this health care debate has been. I know that many in this country are deeply skeptical that government is looking out for them. I understand that the politically safe move would be to kick the can further down the road, to defer reform one more year, or one more election, or one more term.
But that is not what this moment calls for.
OBAMA: That's not what we came here to do. We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. I still believe we can act even when it's hard.
RKE: Why is it hard? Because most Americans don't want it. Obama is under the illusion that most people voted for him because of his policies when in actuality many voted out of guilt and yes many purely out of racial solidarity -- yes, I said what everyone is thinking. I am not into playing politically correct games. It is a shame that America's first black president wasn't a man who really represented what it means to be an American. For, historically speaking some of the very first black politicians in America have been strong, patriotic people who uphold that self-sufficiency, that liberty with responsiblity, and that freemarket mentality has been the cradle of American exceptionalism. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_conservatism_in_the_United_States)
I still believe...
... I still believe that we can act when it's hard. I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things and that here and now we will meet history's test, because that's who we are. That is our calling. That is our character.
RKE: It is neither our calling or good character to go counter to what America has alway been, America and instead initiate yet more socialism and call it "progress". It is no small irony that Obama called leftists, his "progressive friends". Progress to a liberal means implementing social programs like this. Obama wants to be the black FDR.
Thank you. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.
RKE: God and Obama? What God? Now there is a whole other topic.
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