For the first time in memory, Bill O'Reilly, arch Fox conservative, and Chris Matthews, arch MSNBC liberal, reacted the same to an event -- both found that Barack Obama failed entirely to explain his plans for health care reform in his televised press conference.
And virtually all commentators noted the same flaw in the Obama presentation and explanation -- he's afraid to tell Americans that -- well, remember that old sign: "You can have it cheaper, better, and more of it -- but not all at the same time"?
I watched the sacrificial Democrat (you know, the one labeled "Democratic strategist" sandwiched between two nuts like the host himself on one of those Hannity panels) who intoned: "Health care reform will maintain current coverages, give access to everyone, and save money." You can see why Hannity selected her -- to make the nuts look reasonable!
But Obama, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel -- and the entire Republican leadership -- are just as bad. Ask them what will have to be sacrificed, and they (the Dems) indicate "Nothing -- just a few millionaires will pay more taxes." And, oh, there is one health care player Obama is willing to punish -- insurers (even pharmaceutical manufacturers escape his opprobrium).
Republicans, as usual, are living in some other time and place. Their claim? "American health care is the best in the world. We'll reduce the costs with tort reform, and give everyone greater access by incentivizing (a popular Obama term) private coverage."
Oh, and both sides will eliminate waste, duplication, and fraud. That should save a trillion or two right there!
Here are the top ten health care reforms neither side will propose:
- 10. Means test Social Security and Medicare
- 9. Pay only for effective treatments
- 8. Channel patients to providers who accept a prix-fixe pay schedule
- 7. "Incentivize" individual care choices (i.e., make people pay for more of what they use)
- 6. Tax employer health care benefits as income
- 5. Make managed care de rigeur
- 4. Mandate that every American must have health care coverage
- 3. Favor treatment for the young and fixable over the old and incurable
- 2. Eliminate private insurance
- 1. Put Obama's birth certificate on the back of the one dollar bill (oops, wrong post!)
Failing to do these things will not produce better care for more people at lower prices. Rather, it will mean a diminishing group will receive unlimited (but but not necessarily effective) treatment costing everyone more.
And Barack Obama is just too nice a guy, too good a politician, and too reluctant to give people bad news to blow the whistle on this three-card monte -- or, better, Ponzi -- scheme. You know, the kind of deal where you collect more and more money for an unsustainable and unproductive enterprise until the entire house of cards collapses?