Friday, September 11, 2009

Response to Obama Health Care Speech

September 11 - It’s hard to get an accurate fix on the impact of President Obama’s September 9 health care speech before a joint session of Congress. Much of the media commentary has focused on Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) who shouted “Liar!” in the midst of the impassioned speech.

Beyond that, most reactions depend on the old adage, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” Many Democrats say the speech was an inspiration unifying game-changer and foretells of a bill by year’s end.

Republicans felt the 47 minute talk was long on rhetoric and short on substance. GOP commentators said it “was a speech not a plan,” “he can speak but can he govern,” “full of platitudes and generalities,” “hope meets reality, ” and “good delivery bad product.”

Polls immediately after the speech indicated 70 to 75% public approval, but poll averages of today September 12 tell a different story.

Obama Job Approval

Approve 52.1%
Disapprove 34.4%

Spread + 8.7%

Congressional Job Approval

Approve 28.8%
Disapprove 62.0%

Spread -33.2%

Direction of Country

Right direction 35.6%
Wrong direction 58.8%

Spread -23.2%

Meanwhile in a Politico poll with 17,308 respondents , 38 percent registered thumbs-up for the president's address while 58 percent said thumbs-down. Of Obama’s handling of health care, most polls show a less than 50% approval and falling.

Personally I felt Obama did not answer these questions.

• How do you plan to pay for his plan? What are the details?

• How can you cut $500 billion out of Medicare when 78 million baby boomers are about to come on board?

• How can you promise the Obama plan will “not add a dime” to the deficit when you have no plan to control costs?

• How can you impose individual and employer mandates and add 45 million to the rolls without raising taxes?

One thing that alarms me about Obama is his attitude - don't tinker, don't think, just do it because I say so. Rhis is intellectual arrogance and does not lend itself to compromise.


For me the Obamacare math does not add up I understand his passionate call for the U.S. to be a moral nation, but I do not understand how he can superimpose his government –dominated plan on the current system without astronomical budget deficits and without destroying private health plan markets.

Perhaps I am wrong. The stock market reacted positively to the speech with an 80 point bump and with increases averaging about 5% in the stocks of health insurers and for-profit hospital chains. The apparent reason was the market believes the public option is now off the table, and the private enterprise system will be more free to work its magic. An Intrade poll of betters indicate only 24% think a public option will be part of the final plan.

1 comment:

J_G said...

I find your response to Obama's health care speech reasonable and effective.

I for one realize there has to be some reform in the health care system. I have seen with my own eyes how the Medicare systems is so inefficient and susceptible to so much waste fraud and abuse. I had to take control of the care of my dying Father, my dying Grandmother and my dying Mother in the space of about 6 years. I saw the Medicare statements come in and watched as hospitals charged the Medicare system ludicrous amounts for supplies and treatments that were either unnecessary or completely fraudulent.

I watched as doctors would walk by my Mother's hospital room and sign their name to my Mother's record and keep going but were paid for their "services" by Medicare.

In each of the incidents of my family members being hospitalized and then dying I had to find the doctor that was in charge of the care of my Father, Grandmother, and Mother to take charge and inform me of what was being done and why.

Government control of health care will not work to make people live longer or feel better. It will only function to to put more bureaucrats in control of how much and what quality of care is given and to whom.

If more control is given to the patients through medical savings accounts or something along those lines, the better off most of us will be. That's an over simplification I know but the premise of putting the consumer or patient in control along with their own financial stake is not.