Right Lies, But, Is Obama Being Honest?

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The Right continues its lies, misrepresentations, and distortions, with passion in the hours after Obama's speech. Is Obama being honest with Americans, though? The all-seeing, all knowing Right which, can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see there a friend and honest person to work with, of course, will say Obama is not being honest. But, the simple fact is, until there is a bill with Obama's signature making it law, there is no way to determine of Obama is being honest, or not, with the public.

Will Obama veto legislation which is NOT deficit neutral by $100 or $100 billion? Will Obama enforce ID and citizenship checks on those applying for government paid-for health care benefits? Will Obama halt the flow of illegal aliens, or failing that, ensure a future where the failure to provide health care to 10's of millions illegal aliens becomes a humanitarian issue which America's 'character' cannot refuse?

With Medicare and Medicaid poised to bankrupt the government and nation over the next decade or two, how can Obama guarantee that these programs will not experience benefit cuts or limitations on care, as a simple matter of curtailing the bankrupting deficits these programs pose to our future? The fact is, he can't. What he can do, which is what he is doing, is assure the American people that the health care reform bill will not rely upon Medicaid and Medicare limitations of benefits outside waste, fraud, and abuse, to fund the government's health care insurance option. It is a subtle but important distinction which the Right chooses to sweep under the rug.

In Obama's speech, he made a promise that the health care bill receiving his signature would be deficit neutral. Of course, whether it is deficit neutral or not, will depend on who is making the assumptions about the future costs and savings surrounding the health care reform law. Obama was not specific about who would be making the determination as to whether the bill is deficit neutral or not, but, it can be argued that since he has been using CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates on the cost of the reform, he is rather obligated to use their estimates on deficit neutrality.

However, the best the CBO will be able to do, is state that if the future unfolds in proscribed ways, then, and only then, would the reform be deficit neutral. Peering into America's economic future is fraught with pitfalls. Still, if the CBO does its assumptions and estimates and finds the proposed legislation likely to be deficit neutral, it can be said Pres. Obama's signature on the reform will have kept that promise.

AmeriPac, a god awful scare-mongering right wing organization, which I rank up there in propaganda capacity with the American Communist Party, says in an email this morning: "50 Illegal aliens WILL JUMP America's borders while you read [this email] and be ELIGIBLE FOR FREE GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE". AmeriPac does not even attempt to be logical or rational in explaining how it is Obama and Democrats intend to sneak language into the bill with no one noticing that will grant so called 'free government run health care' to illegal aliens. In addition, it is a patently false statement that government run health care will be free. Obama said the legislation is expected to cost 900 billion dollars over 10 years, to be paid for by savings in waste, fraud, and abuse, and tax increases on high premium private health insurers. There is no such thing as free health care in the private or public sector.

AmeriPac ignores entirely the fact that, even if Pres. Obama's quoted estimate of 5% of Americans covered under the government provided health insurance were to double to 10%, it would continue to be illogical and deceptive to refer to and imply that the reform measure will replace the private sector health insurance industry with a government run health care insurance system.

To be sure, Pres. Obama's proposal for the kind of reform he would likely sign into law, leaves unanswered details to be worked out by the Houses of Congress. He said as much in his speech which was treated as a snicker line by those on the Right. However, Pres. Obama has been consistent in his approach to not cross Constitutional definitions of his office, by presenting Congress with a bill for their signature. He has consistently proffered the broad objectives to be met by reform, leaving the means and ways, and purse string details, to Congress to work out as their Constitutional obligation.

It appears clear however, that all Republicans in the Congress, save perhaps a couple, are intent on insuring that the Democrats do not get credit for resolving one of America's greatest challenges going forward. From a political standpoint, a perfect health care reform bill would still not receive Republican support. Not that there is such a thing as a perfect health care reform bill with all winners and no losers. Still, there are many on the Left who critique Obama for ever holding out for bipartisanship on this bill and question Obama's leadership skill in doing so. What the Left seems quick to discount in recent history, is the bad rap Republican majorities got by the public for refusing to work in a bipartisan fashion with Democrats when they were the minority party.

Actually, what Obama's Left-wing critics don't seem to realize is that Pres. Obama is playing this bipartisan role with extreme political savvy and agility. If Pres. Obama were to abandon his bipartisan outstretched hand to Republicans, and should the health care reform measure fail to pass into law, Pres. Obama would forever wear the label of the President who failed Americans and health care reform by his partisanship. By continuing to extend the "my door is always open" bipartisan hand in improving the health care reform, Pres. Obama is guaranteeing that if the bill fails, the responsibility will fall inexorably upon the GOP and Congressional Republicans, not himself or Democrats. A more deft political posture I have never witnessed.

The polling of those who watched Obama's speech, show a majority were encouraged by it. CNN reports:

Two out of three Americans who watched President Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans, a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. national poll.
Whether that translates into Congressional passage of a reform bill, is not knowable. But, as every politician knows, it doesn't hurt to have public opinion on your side in a political battle.

It is not possible to determine if Obama is being totally honest with the American public. Objectively, however, it can be said that he has not yet been proven dishonest, even if full-disclosure is a requirement of the definition of honesty. Since, Pres. Obama is not drafting the legislation, his speech is logically honest about what his vision is for health care reform. Whether, or not, he signs a reform bill that comports with his vision, remains to be seen.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 10, 2009 8:01 PM.

Worst Case: $170 per year, Health Care Reform was the previous entry in this blog.

Conservatives Put Health Care Reform Back in Obama's Lap is the next entry in this blog.

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