According to the White House’s website, the President used his weekly address this weekend to “call on Democratic and Republican leaders to attend next week’s health care meeting in good faith to find reforms that work for American families and small businesses.” It’s a little hard to swallow given all the reporting on how Democrats plan to ram through their unpopular plan through Congress using legislative maneuvers that subvert traditional Congressional rules.
The President’s address repeats what’s been contained in just about every speech he has given on health care. He highlights all the problems with the status quo. Yet that’s really besides the point. Yes, everyone knows that the current system is flawed. The question is what to do about it. And the American people overwhelming recognize that a trillion dollar government initiative to micromanaging the health insurance of all Americans will not make things better, but much, much worse.
The most interesting part of this address was when the President said that he considers Republican proposals to “allow Americans to purchase insurance from a company in another state to give people more choices and bring down costs” a “good idea.” Certainly, that sounds like bipartisanship and like the President is open to using reform to encourage real competition.
Yet don’t be fooled: in the very next sentence he stipulates that we should “pursue them in a way that protects benefits, protects patients, and protects the American people.” Sure, President Obama and Congressional leaders may consider allowing inter-state purchase of health insurance, but they are also going to so heavily regulate the insurance industry–dictating exactly what each policy can and cannot contain and at what price–that it really won’t matter who you buy your insurance from anyway, since they’ll all be selling the same government created product.
The President claims that he doesn’t want the summit to be merely “political theater,” but it’s clear that’s exactly what this will be. Today, the White House will release its new proposal and then will focus on forcing it through Congress by any means necessary. They see the summit as a chance to preen about bipartisanship, which they presume the obsequious media will dutifully cover as an actual good faith meeting, before returning to business as usual.
The good news is that the American people increasingly recognize these tricks for what they are, and will remain committed to defeating the Democrats’ abomination of a health care bill.