Yeah, but he is soooo cool and hip!

My comments appear in orange.


Take the red pill, Mr. President

By: David Freddoso
Commentary Staff Writer
07/23/09 6:56 AM EDT

“If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?” — President Obama

In last night’s press conference, President Obama seemed to be reliving that famous scene from The Matrix. (Yet another reason why he is so cool, because he totally gets popular culture.) The main character is offered a choice between a red pill that makes him see reality for what it is, and a blue pill that allows him to continue living in a pleasant world of illusions.  (Also known as the world of entitlement for the non-dreiven at the cost of everyone else.)

Last night, President Obama appeared to have taken the blue pill before his press conference. How else could he convince himself, the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers notwithstanding, that his health care reform bill will not increase both health care costs and the federal deficit? (Common sense tells us of course it will but does it matter?  He is the first black president.  He was on SNL.  He is so cool.) How else can he continue to make the argument that a massive expansion of government spending on health care will solve rather than exacerbate the current problems? (Isn’t that what most government officials do?  They have to have some purpose because if they didn’t have any responsibilities for regulating our every move and decision they would be forced to only be able to enact the authorities given to them by the constitution, and that’s just ludicrous.) How can he repeatedly express such absolute certainty that such a measure will easily pay for itself several times over in the long run? Why can he not at least acknowledge the possibility that it will become a costly and useless trillion-dollar boondoggle that follows in the footsteps of his stimulus package? (Because he is arrogant perhaps?)

With his example of the red and blue pills, and another about whether a child’s hypothetical tonsils should be removed, President Obama unwittingly presents the real problem with his plan for reform. Here is a well-meaning government official (don’t forget a cool individual) who so fails to grasp the problem in health care that he can present such absurd oversimplifications and suggest that this sort of thing is the real problem — doctors simply lack the common sense to make obvious medical decisions. (Is it possible that his lack of experience really should have been questioned more?  Then most politicians fail to grasp the REAL problem at the root of most societal concerns.  It is hard for them to see through the dollars flying their way from lobbyists and other quid pro quo crowds.) President Obama wants us to solve this problem by putting himself and other government officials in charge of rescuing medicine from the medical profession. (GOD HELP US!  When will this country learn that it is the governments fault we  are in this damn state to begin with?  When will this country learn that government IS the problem and not the solution?  AHHHH!) If medical doctors with a decade of schooling cannot distinguish between good cures and ineffective ones that must be discontinued, then by gosh, we’re lucky that the good folks from the government can.  (Of course they can!  They can fix anything.  Oh yee of little faith.)

President Obama thus frames the issue as a false choice between doing nothing at all and handing over to Washington complicated, case-by-case medical decisions that cannot possibly be legislated or dictated by government.

This transfer of medical authority to the bureaucracy is intended to curb costs. (Psh!) Unfortunately, there is exactly one thing that government can do to control costs in health care: it can insist on paying below cost. (Or it can just STAY THE HELL OUT !) This shifts the cost burden to private insurance companies, which in turn pass along higher premiums to their patients. This is what government-run Medicare does today for many treatments, including cancer. Government will do more of this kind of “saving” when it assumes greater responsibility for funding citizens’ health care, particularly if a government-option health care plan is established.  (Yeah but the government cares for us and Obama is so cool.)

The Mayo Clinic which President Obama praised in his speech last night is the same Mayo Clinic whose president signed onto a letter to Congress yesterday, expressing fears that a government-option health care plan Obama wants to establish will do more of this cost-shifting.  (Yet another case of government officials saying what sounds right without doing the NECESSARY fact checking or research first.) The letter states:

Under the current Medicare system, a majority of doctors and hospitals that care for Medicare patients are paid substantially less than it costs to treat them. Many providers are therefore already approaching a point where they can not afford to see Medicare patients. Expansion of a Medicare-type plan without a method to define, measure, and pay for healthy outcomes for patients will move many doctors and hospitals across this threshold, and ultimately hurt the patients who seek our care. We should not put more Americans into the current unsustainable system.

President Obama brushed off this concern last night near the end of his press conference, citing a hopeful but very vague blog post on Mayo’s website that went up a day before the letter was sent. In addition to ignoring budgetary and medical concerns, he repeated his dubious promise that his plan will not force millions of Americans out of health insurance plans they already have and like. He had no comforting words to convince anyone of the wisdom of creating two new taxes on employers — one of them a tax that punishes small businesses with a higher tax rate if they create more jobs — in the middle of a recession. (Of course he didn’t because he has no possible way of explaining that.  Nobody can explain that.  Truthfully at least.)
The one thing President Obama did not do last night was address directly any of the concerns that Americans have about his pending reform proposals. (Of course he didn’t because that would require specificity and we all know politicians speak as vague as possible and refuse to answer questions directly so that they always have an out or they can always use the “you took me out of context” argument. Not to mention that he doesn’t have any answers.  All he has a Utopian idea completely detached from reality.  But it makes the masses feel good and that is how he will continue to sell it.) With this sort of rhetorical detachment from reality, it is not surprising that public support for his vision of health care reform is gradually eroding.  (I’m surprised.  Really I am.  How can his support be eroding?  He is the nations first black president, he was on Conan and he is so damn cool.  People are stupid if they don’t support Obama.)

President Obama needs to take the red pill, even if it does cost twice as much.  (Yeah he might take it, but he will still find a way to charge those sinful, lying , cheating, and immoral wealthy people.  You know the people that create all the jobs in this country and pay 75% of the taxes?  Yeah, them.)

Psh, and I thought Bush was bad.

current music:  Harry Nilsson – Jump Inot the Fire


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