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Obama Keeps Talking Health Care, But Doesn’t Change Minds

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:40 am - March 11, 2010.
Filed under: Obama Health Care (ACA / Obamacare)

For Barack Obama, the time for talking never ends.  And it just ain’t doing the kind of “good” it once did.  Guess a fresh faced outsider offering vague visions of hope and change while a media-maligned mad man occupies the White House has greater appeal to the American people than a big-government loving liberal selling specific increases in government spending and federal control.

After stumping in two swing states, Pennsylvania and Missouri, the Democrat’s off to another–Ohio–next week.  Local Democrats in the Buckeye State will apparently be turning out in greater numbers for the presidential visit than they did in the Show Me State.

Even a leading San Francisco Bay Area liberal, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, doesn’t think all this talk will do much “good” (as she sees it):

“I think the entire debate that’s been going on — For what, a year or so? — has reached a point where we’re glad to hear the president speak out, and say what’s on his mind and what he wants us to do, and get the country revved up,” Woolsey said during an appearance on MSNBC. “But I don’t think it’s going to change a lot of minds.”

The president, as pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen, the latter a Democrat, pointed out in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, can’t move the numbers on health care:

One reason may be that he keeps talking about details of the proposal while voters are looking at the issue in a broader context. Polling conducted earlier this week shows that 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy, while only 25% believe it would help. That makes sense in a nation where most voters believe that increases in government spending are bad for the economy.

When the president responds that the plan is deficit neutral, he runs into a pair of basic problems. The first is that voters think reducing spending is more important than reducing the deficit. So a plan that is deficit neutral with a big spending hike is not going to be well received.

But the bigger problem is that people simply don’t trust the official projections. People in Washington may live and die by the pronouncements of the Congressional Budget Office, but 81% of voters say it’s likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.

The president is right when he says the time for talk is over.  We’ve had this debate–and don’t want the overhaul he’s selling.  So, let’s quit the talking and cut the spending, you know like he promised in his campaign.

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30 Comments

  1. 81% of voters say it’s likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.

    Well… there is some sanity out there.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 11, 2010 @ 11:56 am - March 11, 2010

  2. After watching The Rainmaker on cable the other night I couldn´t help but to think that the flick had a big influence on his obsession with government run healthcare and his demonizing insurance companies.

    Comment by Roberto — March 11, 2010 @ 12:54 pm - March 11, 2010

  3. For Barack Obama, the time for talking changing the topic never ends comes.

    Obbamy One Note is stuck on “health care reform” because it is the biggest socialist entrapment ever unleashed on the free market. It transforms the United States into a governmentocracy from which there is no uncomplicated retreat.
    \

    Comment by heliotrope — March 11, 2010 @ 1:03 pm - March 11, 2010

  4. You are correct that when asked whether they support Obama’s Health Care plan a majority of people say no. However, these polls do not tell the entire story. When asked about the major provisions of Obama’s plan there is in fact very high support for the particular provisions. Most people do not think insurance companies should be able to ban people with pre-existing conditions and a majority of people think all citizens should have health coverage even if it requires government subsidies.

    It is true when asked in the abstract a majority of people don’t support mandatory coverage. But you can’t have the items without mandatory coverage because the cost of premiums would skyrocket. Mandatory coverage spreads the cost over a larger group including those who are less likely to use insurance in order to retain costs.

    I agree there are problems with Obama’s proposal–it is all too similar to the plan Romney passed–but it does fix some of the gross inequities in health care coverage and far from being over I suspect he will get it passed.

    Comment by Brendan — March 11, 2010 @ 2:21 pm - March 11, 2010

  5. And if it passes, he makes the problems worse and increases the likelihood of major Republican gains this fall.

    If indeed, people like certain provisions of the plan, he should then separate them out and put each forward as an individual bill.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 11, 2010 @ 2:24 pm - March 11, 2010

  6. But the burden is on opponents to explain how the provisions can be passed separately. You simply can’t prohibit on pre-existing conditions without some mandatory coverage provision. To do so would drastically increase costs. If Obama put forth a bill solely on a ban on pre-exisiting conditions he would be correctly criticized by you and others of proposing a feel good plan that is fiscally irresponsible.

    Like I said I agree there are problems with the plan and I wish it was more like single payer coverage offered by almost every industrial country in the world except the US. But I don’t think his plan would make things worse–certainly not worse for the millions of people who work and can’t afford insurance.

    As for how it plays out politically, the Republicans are going to run against Obama’s health care plan whether he passes it or not. I think he is better off passing it and let the republicans defend their vote for the staus quo.

    Comment by Brendan — March 11, 2010 @ 2:50 pm - March 11, 2010

  7. I don’t know how you guys can be talking about the major provisions of a bill that hasn’t been released to the public. If the bill is entirely popular, put it on the ballot in the fall. Allow a vote by popular mandate and you will eliminate anyone’s ability to lay the blame on the congress. It will also force Dems to put their names next to the bill they are demanding for the public.
    BTW: CBO says that insurance premiums will skyrocket anyway. If my insurance goes up by the 10-13% AVERAGE CBO says it will, we will have to sell our home and go back to apartment living. That feels like an inequity to me.

    Comment by Carolynp — March 11, 2010 @ 2:57 pm - March 11, 2010

  8. “If the bill is entirely popular, put it on the ballot in the fall.”

    If bills should all be decided by ballots what is the point of having representatives?

    Comment by Brendan — March 11, 2010 @ 3:49 pm - March 11, 2010

  9. Obama’s proposal… does fix some of the gross inequities in health care coverage

    No, it doesn’t. It makes them worse. It will destroy American medicine, creating a two-tier system where most people will get coverage far inferior to what is available today – even the “uninsured”, for they can go to emergency rooms and public clinics today, and the quality and capability of those will be degraded along with the rest – while Congress and super-rich people get Cadillac and/or foreign care.

    Socialism never solves inequities. It makes them worse. Socialism vastly reduces the pie in both quality and quantity, hurting everyone – and then distributes the shrunken, crappy pie to a select few, while pretending not to.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 11, 2010 @ 3:56 pm - March 11, 2010

  10. (i.e., while pretending to be somehow fair or “equal”)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 11, 2010 @ 3:58 pm - March 11, 2010

  11. (and I mean “socialism” in the broad sense of any system of government control of a market or industry. If Obama’s proposals nominally leave medicine in private hands, merely burdening it with mandates, taxes, programs, spending and regulations to the point where government control is de facto – then the technical term for his proposals would be “fascism”, rather than “socialism” in a strict sense.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 11, 2010 @ 4:01 pm - March 11, 2010

  12. Is it possible Obama just likes hearing himself talk? Especially to over flow crowds of nutty union thugs.
    Rasmusson and Gallop both have him at all time lows.
    The American people agree with Republicans on 9 out of 10 major issues. Maybe Barack has lost touch with reality like Massa, Patrick Kennedy and Charlie Rangel.
    …..watch how over the course of 4 minutes a Democrats meds gradually wears off……
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/rep-patrick-kennedy-rants-afghanistan-war-10066123

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 11, 2010 @ 5:21 pm - March 11, 2010

  13. You simply can’t prohibit on pre-existing conditions without some mandatory coverage provision. To do so would drastically increase costs.

    Which is why insurance companies don’t do it.

    This is a flat-out redistribution of wealth. Worse, it’s being done for exactly the wrong reasons. What Obama is saying is that, rather than him having to pay more because he chooses to smoke and use cocaine, those of us who choose to do neither should be forced to pay more so he doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of his decisions.

    If you want “mandatory”, Brendan, go all the way. If I’m going to be forced to pay for your health care, I should have the right to force your fat ass to get onto a treadmill and bar you from ever going into McDonalds. Furthermore, I should be able to jail you for having unprotected gay sex and spreading HIV, since it increases my health care costs.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 11, 2010 @ 5:26 pm - March 11, 2010

  14. If my insurance goes up by the 10-13% AVERAGE CBO says it will, we will have to sell our home and go back to apartment living. That feels like an inequity to me.

    WHAT?

    You are upset because some people have houses and you can’t afford one, so your “solution” is to force them to pay for it?

    Who in the hell do you think you are? What gives you the right to take from others?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 11, 2010 @ 5:28 pm - March 11, 2010

  15. I hope you were kidding North Dallas. I said that if this bill goes through we will be forced to sell our home. No comment anywhere about forcing someone else to support me. You made up your own solution.

    Comment by Carolynp — March 11, 2010 @ 5:31 pm - March 11, 2010

  16. “If you want “mandatory”, Brendan, go all the way. If I’m going to be forced to pay for your health care, I should have the right to force your fat ass to get onto a treadmill and bar you from ever going into McDonalds. Furthermore, I should be able to jail you for having unprotected gay sex and spreading HIV, since it increases my health care costs.”

    Sorry but this response shows very serious mental health problems. Have we met? Do you know something about my sex life and eating habits that to my knowledge (about my life) are not true? Calm down guy! For what it is worth, as a socialist redistrutor of wealth that I am I will agree to personally earmark my income taxes to cover ND30’s anti-psychotic medications. You can even have a cigarette on me if it helps the Tourette Syndrome.

    Comment by Brendan — March 11, 2010 @ 5:44 pm - March 11, 2010

  17. don’t worry too much about Miss Rita Beads – NDT. . .probably just between med cycles. . .kinda likes to rant on and on. wait, lets she how miss rita beads will bring in the standard ‘kiddies at folsom show quote’ or something truly relevant like an email from ’94 on NAMBLA.

    Comment by rusty — March 11, 2010 @ 6:15 pm - March 11, 2010

  18. Since Tano seems to be out of the loop here, it appears his sock puppet Brendan has taken over for him. Could they be one and the same troll???

    Comment by John in Dublin CA — March 11, 2010 @ 6:30 pm - March 11, 2010

  19. As unthinkable as it seems to be to those in the Beltway, why don’t we actually try a free-market solution to this? Some insurance companies could no doubt design types of coverage specifically for high-risk pools, for example for those with preexisting conditions. Would that coverage cost more? Certainly, but if they know they’ll be allowed to do it competitively, insurance companies may be able to design products unheard-of up ’til now.

    Business can be very creative when it’s allowed to be.

    Comment by Lori Heine — March 11, 2010 @ 6:56 pm - March 11, 2010

  20. Too sensible, Lori. Doesn’t add to the State’s control over people.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 11, 2010 @ 7:22 pm - March 11, 2010

  21. Ok, well it’s obivious that Brendan is immune to logic, but I’ll try.
    “If my premiums go up, I’ll have to lose my house.”
    Ok Brendan, so you’d prefer to see me lose my house to having to pay taxes to you can have your house and your health plan. That’s NDT’s point. You want to shift your expences to another rather than adjust to economic reality.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 11, 2010 @ 7:47 pm - March 11, 2010

  22. Sorry but this response shows very serious mental health problems.

    Ooo, the lefty wants to play the game. So let’s start.

    Brendan, I demand that you immediately provide your credentials as a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

    By the way, the instant you do so, there will be an ethics complaint filed with your state board of licensure that states specifically that you were a) diagnosing a patient who you have never met and b) doing so for the express purpose of discrediting them publicly. In other words, you can kiss your license goodbye.

    And if you’re not a psychologist or psychiatrist, then you need to look up what the penalty is for practicing medicine without a license. Or you can simply admit that you are not even close to being qualified to make the diagnoses you just made and have no idea about what you’re talking.

    What this boils down to is that your selfishness has just been called out and there’s no good answer.

    Answer this, Brendan; why should a responsible person, who eats right, exercises, avoids tobacco use, and always practices safe sex have to pay the same rates as someone like yourself, who overeats, refuses to exercise, smokes, and has promiscuous sex? You are going to require multiple times the health care, but you are paying the same amount.

    How is that fair? How is that “equal”?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 11, 2010 @ 9:38 pm - March 11, 2010

  23. To paraphase nutty congressman Kennedy….
    why isn’t the press following our young President around asking him, no shouting at him…
    “Mr President why do you keep giving speeches, having pep rallys on Obamacare when the polls on it keep dropping? Your hard sell isn’t working.” When was the last time Obama answered any serious questions? Had any followup quesitons about the christmas bomber, Iran, ramming HC thru, the Dem governor of NY, Massa, the Al Q seven, Club GITMO not closing, Ft HOOD investigation, the fraud and abuse in the porkulus, has he given up smoking and over drinking,

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 11, 2010 @ 10:01 pm - March 11, 2010

  24. yahzaa NDT , , , chill pill

    Comment by rusty — March 11, 2010 @ 10:24 pm - March 11, 2010

  25. But I don’t think his plan would make things worse–certainly not worse for the millions of people who work and can’t afford insurance.

    Brendan, what is your vision of “insurance”? There is a conventional wisdom circulating that the chronically ill are less than 5% of the population and they rack up 50% of the health costs. That leaves a lot of people who only need to insure against bad luck in the health department. That is not bad news. For most of us, fire insurance is just a safe guard. For most of us, major medical insurance would take care of financial ruin if we encountered a serious health crisis. But for too many “insurance” has come to mean free health care. That is an abuse of the term. You can not use “insurance” as a warranty for your body.

    There is only one single payer that has a vested interest in your health and that person is YOU. If you give a squat about your health, you would choose to insure yourself.

    Your idea that millions of people work and can’t afford insurance is nuts. We could certainly build government clinics far and wide and those who prefer the DMV approach to health care could go to them. It would be significantly cheaper than trying to elevate everyone to the union level of boutique medical pampering.

    I don’t want to live on food stamps or live in Section 8 housing. I would not much want to get DMV health care, either. But, if that is where I ended up, I would certainly be much better off than your average poor person world wide. The fact is, we already have emergency room and health clinic care. We just need to formalize it and be realistic about it. If welfare is your life style, try not to whine.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 12, 2010 @ 3:07 am - March 12, 2010

  26. single payer coverage offered by almost every industrial country in the world except the US.

    Name them. And for good measure, point out the ones that don’t ration treatment or medicine and don’t have patients dying while waiting to be treated. Be sure to highlight those countries with higher innovation in medical equipment and medication. While your at it, make sure to familiarize yourself with HIPPA because you seem grossly ignorant of it.

    I think he is better off passing it and let the republicans defend their vote for the staus quo.

    Please list all Republicans who want the “status quo”? Does the “status quo” refer to anyone who opposes gReid/Granny Botox health carless? If so, be sure to include those democrats who want the “status quo”.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 12, 2010 @ 5:52 am - March 12, 2010

  27. Also, if the health careless legislation passes, will we then be able to buy car insurance after an accident or get fire insurance after our homes burn? If not, why not? Will the Satists then address our right to food and raiment? Will they address our fundamental right to a new computer or a new vehicle? If not, why not?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 12, 2010 @ 5:57 am - March 12, 2010

  28. NDT – #22, great response! I’ve had 2 or 3 jerks on this blog toss the “you must have mental health problems” bit in my direction, when I showed that they couldn’t dominate me. I will have to remember your response, because it beautifully highlights the pompous silliness of it. And of course, your substantive point – that Brendan’s vision of redistributive health “insurance” is, in fact, unfair and unequal – has no effective answer.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 12, 2010 @ 10:49 am - March 12, 2010

  29. Without some form of insurance, it would be impossible to provide healthcare for most of the people in this country. And insurance means pooling the risk BEFORE IT HAPPENS. Sheesh! The liberals who post here ought to at least familiarize themselves with WHAT INSURANCE IS before they presume to write about it.

    As ILC points out here, the concept of redistributive health “insurance” is insane. If anyone has mental problems, it is those who won’t even deal with the reality of what insurance is.

    Comment by Lori Heine — March 12, 2010 @ 7:32 pm - March 12, 2010

  30. Just to be a broken record, insurance is not a payment plan for medical bills. Insurance is underwriting risk and the odds are not in the favor of the insured. It is money thrown to the four winds if you never have need of the insurance; no different from the auto and homeowners insurance we have paid for years.

    This whole healthcare debacle is about having someone else pay your medical bills. That has nothing to do with insurance and everything to do with welfare. Obamacare has been focused on redesigning insurance and that has been a complete ruse. It will force the collapse of health insurance and cause nationalized health care as and entitlement. To believe otherwise leaves you still trying to bottle the smoke and pixie dust from the great hopeandchange side show.

    Comment by heliotrope — March 12, 2010 @ 10:36 pm - March 12, 2010

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