As the Obama administration rolls out its push for health care insurance reform, community activist style, the straw man arguments pop up again. President Obama is the master of using straw men as the villains in his speeches, regardless of the topic. On the campaign trail, the straw men were everything from racist white people who would be sure to remind you that he is a black man (though he is bi-racial) to the imaginary Republicans who thought the economy needed no help at all from Washington to control the recession. And, now? The straw man has emerged as those who would do nothing to reform health care and insurance matters that are so out of control. I've yet to hear anyone voice the opinion that nothing should be done, but maybe that is just me.
Obama likes to use his thin skinned bristling at any criticism and declare the opposition simply as uninformed or out of touch. It never seems to occur to him that only a bit more than half of the voters put him into office and there is still a difference of opinion out there on the direction of any reform measures. Certainly there is a cornucopia of opinions on a matter as large as health care, which consumes 1/6 of our economy.
In the mean time, I recommend checking out a web site: www.fixhealthcarepolicy.com and look at some common sense ideas. The Heritage Foundation and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently conducted a teleconference to promote the web site and to allow Rep. Ryan, a rising star in the Republican party and on the budget and health care solutions, to answer some questions.
Just as Rep. Ryan stated, President Obama seeks to politicize reforms, whether it is health care or energy policy or the tax code. As a report in Roll Call, published online on June 11 stated, "Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called a last-minute, pre-emptive strike on Wednesday with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday. Russell Sullivan, the top staffer on Finance, and Jon Selib, Baucus' chief of staff, met with a bloc of more than 20 contract lobbyists, including several former Baucus aides. "They said, 'Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,'"said a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting. "Going to the Republican meeting will say, 'I'm interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform,'"the lobbyist added."
So, the aides to Baucus follow the talking points of the administration that Republicans don't want health care reform. What they aren't honest enough to say is that Republicans are working on health care reform solutions that do not include heavy reliance on a public option - government run health care.
Currently, several Democrats are on record as opposed to the public option solution. They are Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). Landrieu, Specter and Nelson have all called the public option a deal breaker or simply say no to the question of if they are open to the option. Begich, only six months into his term says he would be "cautious of any public option until it is all laid out."
Like the other sweeping reforms being rushed through Congress before voters fully understand the implications or even with enough time for the office holders to read all of the legislation, the administration is determined to rush health care reform at record speed. The strategy is to get as much done in Washington as quickly as possible before Obama's popularity begins to dip. Already his poll numbers are slipping and for the first time in a long time, Republican ideas now are favored by the regular American voter in 6 out of 10 of the most common issues facing the population. This administration polls more than any other administration in history so the latest trends must be disturbing.
Even former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is weighing in publicly with the demonization of Republicans. This is nothing new for Dean, however, as he was quoted as spewing such hateful lines as Republicans are racists - the only people of color at Republican gatherings are the wait staff - and Republicans are homophobes, etc. Now Dean, bitter that Obama passed him up as Secretary of Health and Human Services (he is a licensed physician), is going after Republicans again. He criticises two Republican physicians - Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Dean says of Coburn, "Public health care does a better job for its patients than private health care, " he said. "The senator is wrong. He's well-intentioned, he's a physician, I respect that, but he's wrong about economics." That from The Hill. Remember, Tom Coburn is the leading opponent of earmarks and unnecessary government spending in the Senate, along with John McCain. And to Gingrey's remarks that a public plan would make it more difficult to get care, Dean called him "an embarrassment."
Well, Howard Dean should know about being an embarrassment.
So, this is the change brought on by the administration of hope and change. Beginning the health care reform process by the President recording a video to be played at 'house parties' across the country last weekend, demanding of his Senate chairman on the budget committee to insist only lobbyists on board with whatever the administration proposes be allowed into meetings, total exclusion of Republicans in White House meetings, and allowing Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again to be the face of the legislation with her far left wing agenda.
This is the same candidate who promised bi-partisanship. This is the same candidate who promised "the most transparent administration in history". This is the candidate who had no executive leadership experience or private sector experience. This is why he is the wrong man for the presidency.