I tried reading President Obama’s speech without critiquing it but I can’t not say something. Let’s start here:
Three years ago, we made a promise. That promise has been kept. Of course, of course, over the last year, there’s been a lot of misinformation spread about health care reform. There’s been plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric. You turn on the news, you’ll see the same folks are still shouting about there’s going to be an end of the world because this bill passed. (Laughter.) I’m not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party, they called the passage of this bill “Armageddon.” (Laughter.) Armageddon. “End of freedom as we know it.”
So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there any, (laughter), asteroids falling or, (applause), some cracks opening up in the Earth. (Laughter.) It turned out it was a nice day. (Laughter.) Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall. People still have their doctors.
There’s a simple explanation for that reaction in DC, Mr. President. In DC, everything is fine because you’ve expanded government dramatically. Rumors exist that DC’s nemployment rate has dropped. Here in the Heartland, where people have to rely on innovation and entrepreneurship and access to capital, things are difficult, thanks in large part to your bailouts and your paying off political allies.
From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers, they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn’t. They’ll have to finally acknowledge this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you. Three months from now, six months from now you’re going to look around. You’re going to be sitting in a doctor’s office reading through the old People magazines. (Laughter.) And you’ll say, hey, this is the same doctor, same plan. It wasn’t Armageddon.
What this legislation isn’t is reform. What this legislation contains are tax increase after tax increase, including tax increases that have medical device manufacturers thinking about laying people off (Medtronic) or moving overseas altogether (Zoll Medical). For the bigger companies, like John Deere and Caterpillar, they’re expecting to have their tax burden increase by $150,000,000 and $100,000,000 respectively.
That doesn’t sound like reform.
That sounds like a straight pathway to higher unemployment at a time when unemployment is already approaching 10 percent and where the number of people who’ve been unemployed more than eight months remains high.
As for people liking their plan keeping their plan, President Obama knows that won’t happen considering the fact that HSAs don’t qualify as a qualified health insurance policy. This isn’t a slip of the tongue. It’s President Obama lying. He knows it’s a lie because people have questioned him on this specific subject.
So if you already…if you already have insurance, this reform will make it more secure and more affordable.
Mr. President, I’d love hearing your explanation on how the Democrats’ health care legislation makes insurance more affordable. I know about the subsidies but that doesn’t make health insurance more affordable. The subsidies just pass the bill onto the people getting taxed to pay for the subsidies. That’s often referred to as robbing Peter to pay Paul. That might put a smile on Paul’s face but it’ll likely make Peter upset.
We’ll start reducing the waste in the system, from unnecessary tests to unwarranted insurance subsidies.
Mr. President, how will the Democrats’ legislation reduce the number of unnecessary tests without lawsuit abuse reform? Let’s admit that you didn’t include real lawsuit abuse reform because Democrats can’t do anything that might upset the trial attorneys lest they stop writing checks for campaign contributions.
The most important lesson people must learn is that President Obama often uses words and phrases like that for effect but his legislation never delivers on his words. That’s why Jim Geraghty rightly says that President Obama’s campaign promises come with an expiration date.
Starting today, starting today, small business owners can sit down at the end of the week, look at their expenses, and they can begin calculating how much money they’re going to save. And maybe they can even use those savings to not only provide insurance but also create jobs. This health care tax credit is pro-jobs, it is pro-business, and it starts this year, and it’s starting because of you.
Mr. President, Are you allergic to the truth? Medtronic certainly qualifies as a small business and they’re thinking about laying off 1,000 as a direct result of the health care legislation, passed without Republican support, you just signed. If this legislation is so pro-small business, why is Zoll Medical Corp. thinking about moving its manufacturing operations overseas?
And once this reform is implemented, then health insurance exchanges are going to be created. This is the core aspect of this bill that is going to be so important to Americans who are looking for coverage.
Mr. President, why would these exchanges improve competition? Each state’s insurance commissioner has the responsibility to enforce that state’s laws because each state has its own unique set of mandates. Insurance companies choose to not offer insurance in certain states because of those mandates, thereby reducing competition. What’s worse is that the Democrats’ health care legislation carries with it very onerous mandates.
Unless the Obama administration, through the HHS Secretary, mandates the various insurance companies to compete in each state, there’s no way to create competition.
President Obama can talk till we’re blue in the face but the American people don’t like the Democrat’s legislation because the tax increases and the various mandates in the Democrats’ legislation will kill jobs and increase health care expenses.
The reason I know the Democrats’ legislation increases health care expenditures is because manufacturers wouldn’t move their operations overseas if they thought the Democrats’ health care legislation would lower their health care expenses.
For all of President Obama’s spinning, the Democrats’ health care legislation is still unpopular:
“The margin prior to the vote was basically people disapproving of the bill by 10 to 12 points,” says Republican pollster David Winston. “What I’ve now seen is that the gap has closed a bit, but that you still have more negative than positive.”
And that is after the White House has had most of the week to drive a positive message. “Even after this significant push, they still can’t flip the numbers,” says Winston.
In other words, the Democrats’ health care legislation is still a millstone around the Democrats’ necks heading into the 2010 midterm elections.
Cross-posted at California Conservative