The president's speech was the policy equivalent of the middle fingerSubmitted by want_my_country_back on Fri, 09/11/2009 - 09:28
For several months now, the American people--as if exhorted by the ghost of William F. Buckley (no particular hero of mine)--have been standing athwart the Democratic agenda of socialized medicine, yelling, "Stop!" But President Barack Obama showed them the policy equivalent of the middle finger Wednesday night.
If there was anything bipartisan about the speech it was that he embraced every bad big-government idea from both sides. If he prevails, the American public won't get "choice and competition" as he proclaimed, but a one-size-fits-all government-prescribed health care plan that it dare not refuse and dare not challenge.
Perhaps the most striking--and disturbing--thing about the speech was the unblinking confidence Obama exuded while breaking key campaign promises he made to voters. He had raked poor Hillary Clinton over the coals for admitting that her road to universal coverage was paved with an individual mandate. "Everyone would be forced to buy coverage, even if you can't afford it," warned Obama in an ad. "You pay a penalty if you don't."
Yet, there he was last night scolding "individuals who can afford coverage but game the system by avoiding responsibility." Never mind that the prime gamers are not the uninsured (whose unpaid bills cost "the system" less than $40 billion every year) but the underinsured covered by Medicare and Medicaid (whom private insurers cross-subsidize to the tune of over $90 billion annually because the government refuses to pay the full cost of their care). Still, he hectored: "Improving our health care system works only if everybody does their part."