Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama's dilemma: Example #237

President Obama is losing the debate on health care due to nutjobs on the right buying the propaganda from industry groups of "death panels" and "big gummint." But equally as insidious is the misguided demagoguery from the left that mischaracterizes Obama's stated goals of health care reform.

Rep Danny Davis (D-IL-7) said today at a rally: “No matter the cost, quality health care should be provided for every citizen.”

Wrong! No where in any of the priorities of Mr. Obama's plan, either on the campaign trail or in the White House, did he ever say "No matter the cost..." The goal has always been to "bend the cost curve down...", as the president has said in the past.

One commenatator said recently that Obama is like Michael Jordan on a really bad team, and Rep Davis' remark is one of many examples of this. Nobody with any sensibility would agree with Davis' characterization and such rhetoric is counter-productive to the cause.

The proper tact, and the truthful one, is that health care is a value-add for society and is cost-effective if delivered properly. The current system is too expensive and leaves too many people sick and in jeopardy of financial ruin.

The President needs to have a team meeting. STAT. And get this message right.


Hilary said...

I just finished reading T.R. Reid's recently-published book, The Healing of America: A Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. Reid does a great job pointing out the absurdity of our current "system", and how improved it would be if we adopted change. If I thought they would actually read it, I would buy and distribute a copy to every policy maker Capitol Hill. I'll admit that for me it was a sermon to the converted, but I have to believe any reasonable person would see how broken our current system is once they read this book.

Tony said...

I'll have to read it. I read his "United States of Europe" several years ago and he is a thoughtful commentator.

Most in the US have no idea the sad shape of our health care "system", which really is no system at all. We have no structured way to evaluate the value of therapies, and no way to insure everyone-- which would reduce costs in teh long run.

I am flabbergasted at the ease with which the industry spokespeople were able to manipulate the conversation convincing citizens that any change would be bad. It tells me the dilemma that we are up against, with an immense amount of money and talent arguing for a continuation of the current situation.

Europe has the advantage of a populace more amenable to social safety nets. Great Britain started the NHS in 1949 when they were still rebuilding from WW2. It took us 16 more years just to cover the elderly!

I'll check the library for Reid's book. Thanks.