Everything Obama did and said during a sham of the Health Care Summit, only served to weaken his position as the President of the United States of America. I definitely got the feeling that Obama wanted to use this little show and tell to ONLY ADVANCE HIS POSITIONS, not to actually find common ground, as he kept suggesting. To get a real sense of what I’m talking about you would have to watch almost all 7.5 hours of the summit. And then you would have to ignore about 85% of whatever the media writes about the outcome. Even the piece below can’t help but defend the President as if he’s on their payroll. Newsflash people, you may not know it, but you have been on his payroll for about 2 years now.
Obama the petulant leader
AP- Of all the hats President Obama tried on at Thursday’s seven-and-a-half-hour health care summit, it appeared the one he was most comfortable wearing was that of the prickly professor.
In between playing the roles of moderator and deal-maker, the president took several opportunities to dress down his classroom of Republican critics. Through a series of awkward clashes between him and the Republicans, the summit may have served more to portray Republicans as intransigents intent on stonewalling a bill no matter what, than it served to pave the way for a compromise.
Democrats hit that message in the aftermath.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the summit made clear Republicans “were accepting of the status quo.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Obama “the most patient man in the world” for putting up with the day-long session.
While Democrats said the White House and Congress may incorporate GOP ideas in their health care package in light of the summit, there were few signs that any Republican minds were changed. Hours of debate with the president appeared to leave GOP participants embittered.
Most memorable was a brief argument between Obama and Sen. John McCain, his Republican rival in the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama scolded McCain after the Arizona senator spent several minutes complaining that the health reform process has not been transparent and suggesting that the “change” they both campaigned on has not been realized in Washington.
“Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore,” Obama said. “The election’s over.”
McCain said he was well aware of that fact.
Asked about the exchange Friday, McCain told Fox News he doesn’t think the president meant any disrespect, but he suggested Obama was intentionally trying to avoid the issue of transparency.
“I think the president of the United States was probably trying to in a way not directly respond to what clearly was a campaign promise,” McCain said. “But I wasn’t talking about the campaign — what I was talking about is the sleazy deals … that went on in this process.”
Obama also gave House Minority Whip Eric Cantor a stern talking-to when he noticed that the Virginia Republican had stacked the more than 2,000-page bill in front of him while he griped that patients would not be able to maintain the same level of coverage under the Democrats’ plan.
Obama briefly addressed the coverage point and then turned to the stacked health care bill.
“You know, when we do props like this, you stack it up and you repeat 2,400 pages, et cetera — the truth of the matter is that health care is very complicated. And we can try to pretend that it’s not, but it is,” Obama said. “These are the kind of political things we do that prevent us from actually having a conversation.”
The president again had choice words for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., after the senator said individual premiums will rise if the Senate bill passes.
Alexander was correct insofar as the Congressional Budget Office estimates individual policy premiums would be 10 to 13 percent higher by 2016 than premiums under current policy. But his comments ignored the fact that subsidies would be available to defray the increases.
The president, however, told Alexander he was flat-out wrong — that his claim was “not factually accurate.” WRONG!
One of the testier moments of the health care summit was revealing in several ways, but mostly because it helped make clear why the public is so turned off to the whole health care reform debate. Even simple things get extraordinarily complicated.Congressional Budget Office report everyone is citing can clear things up.
The moment in question involved what should be a seemingly straightforward point of fact. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., at one point said that the Senate reform plan would raise premiums for people buying insurance in the individual market.
Not so, said President Obama: “It’s estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that the plan we put forward would lower costs in the individual market for the average person … by between 14 and 20 percent.”
To which Alexander said: “The Congressional Budget Office report says that premiums will rise in the individual market as a result of the Senate bill.”
To which Obama then responded: “Let me respond to what you just said Lamar, because it’s not factually accurate. Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office says. The costs for families for the same type of coverage as they’re currently receiving would go down 14 to 20 percent. What the Congressional Budget Office says is that because now they’ve got a better deal, because policies are cheaper, they may choose to buy better coverage than they have right now, and that might be 10 to 13 percent more expensive than the bad insurance that they had previously.”
How’s that again? Because insurance is now cheaper, families who can barely afford coverage at today’s rates will respond by buying more expensive policies?
Well, maybe the
Here’s what that report actually says (on page 6): some changes in the law would cut premiums by a combined amount of 14 to 20 percent. So Obama is right there.
But the report also found that those savings would be more than offset, mainly by requirements in the Senate bill that force insurers to provide more generous, and more expensive, benefits.
The net effect of all these changes is that “the average premium per person” in the individual market “would be about 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium … in that same year under current law.”
In other words, premiums would go up, just like Alexander said.
Now it may be the case that these people are grateful for the extra insurance benefits and don’t mind forking over the extra premiums. But that’s different from saying that the higher costs result from people choosing to spend more on insurance, as Obama suggested.
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He noted that family coverage would go down in price. For those premiums that rise, Obama clarified, they would be for “better coverage” than the “bad insurance” people currently have.
The president also laid down the law when he explained that he spoke longer than everyone else “because I’m the president,” and when he concluded that if Republicans won’t join him, then “we’ve got to go ahead.”
While Republicans walked out saying they had not been won over, Obama’s Democratic colleagues praised him for holding the summit — and for enduring it.
“The most patient man in the world is Barack Obama,” Reid said. “He sat through that and listened to everything and was so patient and responsive. It was a issue-oriented meeting. The president let everybody talk and talk and talk.”