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  • The President’s Bipartisan Outreach: Doesn’t Meet the Laugh Test

    The President has spent the past week trying to convince the American people that he was in search of a bipartisan health care reform. But as yesterday’s speech revealed, the President is not serious about building support for a product that Americans can feel good about.

    If the President were serious about building bipartisanship, he would scrap the existing proposals and start fresh with the items that both sides can agree to – like letting states take the lead on health reform; tackling that tax treatment of health insurance; getting serious about entitlement reform; and putting in place sensible insurance market reform. Instead the President is trying to cast his proposal as bipartisan by indicating he is open to adding so-called conservative ideas.

    First, being open to ideas is not a real commitment to including them. At the summit, the President claimed to be supportive of many ideas from the other side. But, in his letter to Congress, key proposals such as allowing citizens to purchase coverage from other states were not highlighted.

    Second, details matter. Hijacking conservative terminology does not mean that the underlying policy and legislative language meet the laugh test. Simply titling a section of the bill “state flexibility”, for example, does not mean the actual language will enable states to anything other than what the federal government gives it permission to do.

    Finally, even if the President added — word for word – the legislative language for so-called conservative ideas, it does not change the fundamental direction of the basic proposal. The House and Senate bills and the President’s own outline would dramatically shift control over health care financing and delivery to Washington bureaucrats and politicians.

    The American people have spoken. They are not comfortable with a proposal that would overhaul 1/6 of the US economy and don’t want a government take over. Although the President continues to promise the American people that if they like their coverage nothing will change, it is difficult to accept that this 2,000+ page bill will not impact the way average Americans get health care.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to The President’s Bipartisan Outreach: Doesn’t Meet the Laugh Test

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I'll go a step further and say HCR is states business period with no federal strings attached. The only assistance federal government should offer is being a clearing house of ideas about state healthcare programs that work. Any federal financial aid directed to states should prove a national security connection. All domestic services such as education, healthcare, law enforcement and so forth belong at the state and local levels of government.

    2. Todd says:

      First off saying you’re open to someone else’s suggestions doesn’t mean you’re going to listen to them. The President is like many other Americans when it comes to making up his mind. Once a decision is made only the closest of friends/advisors can perhaps persuade us to change our minds and even then in a small way. The President knew full well what he wanted to do before he even started campaigning for the office he now holds. He knew that during the campaign he would have to come off mild and closer to the middle than many of us thought he was. This was of course a tactic to win votes and it worked as a Democratic was going to win anyway, it was of course their year. Besides I still think he’s better than Hillary would’ve been.

      That aside the President is no more going to change his mind on what he wants in the healthcare bill than John McCain becoming President in 2012. Neither is going to happen so let’s move past that. The main question or point is not what should be in the bill but how do we as America defeat the bill outright? This is perhaps a question that will be answered by the campaign season. The bill in its current form doesn’t make sense and with Democratic “open mindedness” controlling both houses of Congress and the White House it never will. With all the control the Democrats have its clear the President doesn’t need any suggestions from Republicans. He’ll of course want to seem more centrist by giving them a listen as after all it’s an election year. Hey when isn’t it an election year!?

      The President knows that he perhaps only has a few weeks left before all House members jump ship and start swimming back to the shore on the right. Most will need to swim harder than others as some House seats are safe being on the far left like Nancy Pelosi’s seat in San Francisco. All of the swimming aside if the President can’t get any resolution by the end of this month or early April he probably will not get it at all. Reason being during the upcoming campaigns and given the White House’s current track record in recent elections nobody will want to know the President. After the November elections we may see a push before January 2011 when the new Congress is seated to pass some sort of bill. After all it seems that many of the current Democrats will not be invited back for the 112th Congress.

      As for the President being open to suggestions from Republicans after January he may have no choice. For now it seems that’s just another in a line of laughing matters for Democrats.

      Just A Point of View

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