Here are a few reactions to President Obama’s speech last night that I’ve noticed this morning.
Larry Sabato, one of the country’s most respected academic observers of politics, said on his Twitter feed: “The era of bipartisanship, a mirage first seen in January, is over. You could cut the polarization in the House chamber with a knife.”
Remember when George W. Bush said he was a uniter, not a divider? How did that work out? And now we have Barack Obama, the first “post-partisan” president. Nice.
From the AP: “President Barack Obama used only-in-Washington accounting Wednesday when he promised to overhaul the nation’s health care system without adding “one dime” to the deficit. By conventional arithmetic, Democratic plans would drive up the deficit by billions of dollars.”
Seen in several places: What part of the Constitution gives Obama the right to force me to buy insurance?
From a political friend: “Missed opportunity– Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) should have given the response. He is an effective communicator on this topic and has showcased a substantive alternative proposal to what the Dems have offered.”
“Obama mentioned how businesses can be taxed to help pay for the public option. He (about 5 minutes) later said that the public option would not be subsidized and would be self-sustaining. Can anyone explain this?”
From the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (a few days ago):
Americans are often ignorant about public policy, but they’re not stupid. They understand that if you want to extend health care to everyone, improve the system for people who already have coverage, and restrain costs over the long haul, somebody, somewhere, is going to have to give up something. The Obama administration, however, has argued that the only people who really have to give up anything are the wealthy, who will pay somewhat higher taxes. Everybody else will only have to give up things that aren’t doing them any good anyway, or give up things with one hand but get a lot more back in the other. As I said, the American people aren’t stupid, so they’re not buying this.
And finally, some quotes from various people writing at Cato-at-liberty.org during a live blog last night:
“We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month.” True. And your employer mandate would kill hundreds of thousands of low-wage jobs that would never come back.
Private insurance premiums are at most 1.7 percent higher because of the shifting of the costs of the uninsured to private insurers in the form of higher charges.
Build on what works? Medicare doesn’t work–it’s unsustainable.
Translation: I’m going to tax the hell out of you, but I don’t want you to notice how much I’m going to tax you. So I’m going to tax employers and insurance companies, and they’re going to pass the taxes on to you.
It doesn’t just say you have to have insurance. It specifies what benefits the have to switch to satisfy the government’s requirements if you lose your current insurance or want to change plans.
Translation: I, Barack Obama, ignoring thousands of years of failed price-control schemes, will impose price controls on health insurance. I will force insurers to sell a $50k policies for $10k. What could go wrong?
Translation: My health plan cannot work if you are free to make your own decisions
Actually, it’s the compulsory health insurance part — not so much the “government option” part — that would put the government in charge of health care.
Congratulations, Mr. President. You’ve just adopted the worst Republican health care idea: federal medical malpractice liability reform.
Cross-posted from State House Call.