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Monday, February 08, 2010

Another Obama Doc And Pony Show To Be Televised

Before getting to the headline substance, it bears noting that as of now, averaging the latest polls on "Obama and Democrats' Health Care Plan", conducted by Ipsos/McClatchy, NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl, CNN/Opinion Research, NPR - POS/GQR, Rasmussen Reports and USA Today/Gallup, 53.8 percent of the American public is opposed to Obamacare with only 37.3 in favor of it.

The breakdown:

Ipsos/McClatchy- 37 percent in favor, 51 percent opposed

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl- 31 percent in favor, 46 percent opposed

CNN/Opinion Research- 38 percent in favor, 58 percent opposed

NPR - POS/GQR- 39 percent in favor, 59 percent opposed

Rasmussen Reports- 40 percent in favor, 58 percent opposed

USA Today/Gallup- 39 percent in favor, 55 percent opposed

The American public is already showing massive dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of the healthcare issue, as evidenced by the HSA Coalition's latest figures, showing that 54.7 percent of the nation disapproves of Obama's handling of healthcare,

Keeping those figures in mind and the majority being opposed to Obamacare in any of it's current forms, it is no wonder that despite majorities in both House and Senate as well as having a Democratic President in the White House, Democrats have not been able to jam this down America's throat.

That has not stopped them for trying for the last year though and the latest news is that Barack Obama has decided it is time for another doc and pony show.

President Obama said Sunday that he would convene a half-day bipartisan health care session at the White House to be televised live this month, a high-profile gambit that will allow Americans to watch as Democrats and Republicans try to break their political impasse.


“I want to come back and have a large meeting, Republicans and Democrats, to go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward,” Mr. Obama said in the interview from the White House Library.

Why do I call it nothing more than a doc and pony show?

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said in a statement that he welcomed the bipartisan meeting on health care and called on the president to begin the dialogue “by shelving the current health spending bill.”

“The fact is Senate Republicans held hundreds of town halls and met with their constituents across the country last year on the need for health care reform, outlining ideas for the step-by-step approach that Americans have asked for,” Mr. McConnell said. “And we know there are a number of issues with bipartisan support that we can start with when the 2,700-page bill is put on the shelf.”

When asked by Ms. Couric if he would agree to discard the bill and start over, the president said he would not. The starting point, aides said, would be with the proposals that passed the House and Senate.

Emphasis mine and shows clearly that Barack Obama is not listening to the American people that are already opposed to the exact thing he is saying he wants to start with.

Also, bear in mind the following figures, via Gallup and Rasmussen.

Gallup- "In the wake of Republican Scott Brown's victory in Tuesday's U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, the majority of Americans (55%) favor Congress' putting the brakes on its current healthcare reform efforts and considering alternatives that can obtain more Republican support. Four in 10 Americans (39%) would rather have House and Senate Democrats continue to try to pass the bill currently being negotiated in conference committee."

Rasmussen- "Sixty-one percent (61%) of U.S. voters say Congress should drop health care reform and focus on more immediate ways to improve the economy and create jobs.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of voters nationwide disagree and think Congress should press ahead with health care."

So, a televised discussion on healthcare.

Actually I think that is a great idea.

Finally, instead of consistently hearing the Democrats claim the Republicans have presented no ideas, the President himself will give Republicans the opportunity, a forum and a public one at that, to which to present their ideas, the ones Democrats have tossed to the side time and time again without allowing discussion in either chamber.

Brilliant idea in my humble opinion.

Hugh Hewitt makes some decent suggestions to the GOP leadership:

Three specific points to cover:

1. There can be no comprehensive health care cost control and thus no real health care reform without tort reform. In addition to a national cap on pain and suffering damages similar to California's, we will offer some other keys to controlling the cost of defensive medicine in this country. We urge you to ask your colleagues to refrain from immediately rushing to the defense of the plaintiffs' bar. The only way to stop the rising cost of medicine is to stop the need for doctors to practice with a lawyer on both shoulders.

2. There is an enormous need for an interstate market in health care policies. We should move immediately to eliminate this artificial and extremely expensive obstacle to the lowering of the cost of health insurance.

3. There can be no long term confidence in our health care system without confidence in a growing, vibrant and robust economy, one freed from crippling entitlement debt and massive borrowing. Therefore we will use our last presentation to acquaint you and your colleagues with the details of Congressman Paul Ryan's "Roadmap," which we believe could be enacted in parallel with comprehensive health care reform thus setting our domestic policy house in order.

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, also thinks it is a good idea, with a condition:

“The problem with the Democrats’ health care bills is not that the American people don’t understand them — the American people do understand them, and they don’t like them,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “The best way to start on real, bipartisan reform would be to scrap those bills and focus on the kind of step-by-step improvements that will lower health care costs and expand access.”

I say the Republicans show up, loaded for bear and not only present their ideas which never were given the opportunity to be seen publicly, but also speaking to the individual concerns of the majority of Americans regarding the portions of the bills Americans are against.

Speak for those people, the majority. Make their concerns heard. Let the Democrats, publicly, state that they are willing to ignore those concerns, ignore the opposition to the bills already in front of them, because the Democratic leadership believes they know better than the people that voted them into office.

One last request to the GOP leadership- Make this happen before the November elections because this might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back and hands the House and Senate right back to the Republicans, which would force Obama and Republicans to work together.