I dd not watch the President’s press conference last night, but did see part of it when it was rebroadcast on FoxNews later in the evening. He didn’t look very good. Hugh, who saw the whole thing, wasn’t too impressed, thinking the Democrat dodged and dissembled.
Jim Geraghty, sort of echoing Howard Fineman, thought the president’s “a particularly awful appearance.”
In line with the questions that Nick posed, I’d offer one of my own, “Given the need to get this right, particularly when we’re addressing reform of a large segment of our economy, why the rush to complete health care reform this summer?”
Over at Powerline, Paul Mirengoff seems to echo that concern, contending “President Obama is going about overhauling our health care system in a strange manner“:
One would expect a leader, particularly one who is considered highly cerebral by many, to carefully craft a health care reform plan after a period of intense study. One would expect further that the leader would fight for his plan, compromising only around the edges and under extreme duress. One would not expect a leader to defer to others in his party simply to get a plan, any plan, passed by a certain date.
But Obama is, in the words of David Brooks, deferring to the Old Bulls in Congress on health care reform. He appears to be engaged in an ad hoc process whereby proposals are being cobbled together more or less on the fly and then adjusted in response to the political circumstances as they appear on a given day.
There is a great danger in cobbling together legislation with such sweeping impact “on the fly.” This may well serve to make our health care system more complex and increase the power not of doctors but of federal bureaucrats. That is, a hastily written plan will more likely than not fail to achieve the desire end–and instead make things worse.
Yes, I agree the “system” needs reform, but a reform which preserves all that is good about it. We have the best health care in the world, with people coming here from all corners of the world for treatment, and with a disproportionate number of medical innovations coming from our labs and research hospitals.
I recently experienced (and will blog about this later) the great choices available to us, having cut my health insurance costs by 40% in moving from an HMO at one carrier to a PPO at another.