Contemplating Health Care Reform

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Not to Answer Health Care Reform Questions

Fox News’ revealing interview with President Obama yesterday contained many interesting exchanges, among them these two, towards the end of the healthcare portion of the interview.

Here, Bret Baier challenges the Democrat and Obama Administration assertion that the proposed legislation is deficit neutral:

BAIER: And you call this deficit neutral, but you also set aside the doctor fix, more than $200 billion. People look at this and say, how can it be deficit neutral?
OBAMA: But the — as you well know, the doctors problem, as you mentioned, the "doctors fix," is one that has been there four years now. That wasn't of our making, and that has nothing to do with my health care bill. If I was not proposing a health care bill, right — let's assume that I had never proposed health care.
BAIER: But you wanted to change Washington, Mr. President. And now you're doing it the same way.
OBAMA: Bret, let me finish my — my answers here. Now, if suddenly, you've got, over the last decade, a problem that's been built up. And the suggestion is somehow that, because that's not fixed within this bill, that that's a reason to vote against the bill, that doesn't make any sense. That's a problem that I inherited. That was a problem that should have been solved a long time ago. It's a problem that needs to be solved, but it's not created by my bill. And I don't think you would dispute that.

This logical fallacy, that a lack of a “doctors’ fix” for Medicare in this bill is not a reason – and the only reason – to vote against this bill (ergo, you should vote for it), is about a direct admission that Obama clearly has no answer to the charge that the cost savings touted here are bogus. Then, he reverts back to the “blame other people (George Bush)" strategy, which is a very weak strategy, and very unprofessional of this president.

As we discussed before (here and here and here), there are no cost savings with the proposed reforms, and costs will in fact increase, and care will be reduced, along with access.

And in summary here, Mr. Obama has only a weak quasi-moral defense of his proposed reform:

BAIER: Mr. President, I'm getting wrapped up, and I don't want to interrupt you, but to finish up, do you think this is going to pass?
OBAMA: I do. I'm confident it will pass. And the reason I'm confident that it's going to pass is because it's the right thing to do.

Not only is this proposed reform not the right thing to do, Obama is not the right person to decide whether it’s right or not. He is wholly, and completely unqualified to make such a determination, due to his lack of private sector experience, and the blatant violation of personal liberty which this bill constitutes.

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