What if we were able to interact with President Obama as he gave his Big Health Care Speech to the joint session of Congress?
Mr President, you began by praising Congress for making progress:
Of the five committees asked to develop bills, four have completed their work, and the Senate Finance Committee announced today that it will move forward next week… And there is agreement in this chamber on about eighty percent of what needs to be done, putting us closer to the goal of reform than we have ever been.
If there are five different bills, and there is agreement on 80% of what needs to be done, doesn’t that mean there is disagreement on 20%? Are the five bills all the same? Of course not. They’re all different. So which of the five do do you like best, Mr. President?
One of the five, HR 3200 was posted on the Internet months ago. Letting The People have time to read and figure out what those thousand pages actually called for has caused nothing but trouble for you! How do you feel about Hr 3200? You never said.
The plan I’m announcing tonight would meet three basic goals: Security and stability…insurance for those who don’t [have it]…slow the growth in health care costs.
Great! You’re announcing “The Plan” tonight? Sounds like its new, not one the other five. That’s good. We need some clarity. We’d all like to know just what “The Plan” is! If it’s not too much trouble sir, could we see it?
Here are the details that every American needs to know about this plan:
- Nothing in This Plan will require you…to change…coverage
- This Plan [will] make the insurance you have work better for you
“This Plan?” So you do have a specific plan! Could you post it online? We’ll stop causing you so much grief by complaining about the specifics in HR3200 if it’s not going to be “The Plan.”
While there remain some significant details to be ironed out, I believe a broad consensus exists for the aspects of The Plan I just outlined.
Now wait: is there a plan, or are there still significant details not yet ironed out?
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
The reforms you’re proposing? A few minutes ago you said you were announcing A Plan tonight. Is that the same thing as “proposing reforms?”
…some have suggested that that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others propose a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring.
You’re still exploring ideas? Didn’t you just say you were introducing “The Plan” tonight? Do you have a plan or not?
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern… and that is how we pay for This Plan…I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits…
You won’t sign “A plan”? Aren’t we talking about “This Plan” that you said earlier was “My Plan?” Does it add to the deficits?
Second, we’ve estimated that most of This Plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system…not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for This Plan…Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of This Plan.
“This Plan”? So now you’re back to talking about a specific plan? Which one? Again, when will we and our Representatives get a chance to read it?
Add it all up, and The Plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years…The plan will not add to our deficit.
So if you know how much it will cost, it must be 100% complete, right?
“This is The Plan I’m proposing. It’s a plan that incorporates ideas from many of the people in this room tonight – Democrats and Republicans. And I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.”
Huh? You said, “This is The Plan I’m proposing,” and you said you knew how much it will cost, and you knew it won’t cover illegal aliens, and you knew it permits us to keep our insurance, and you knew it won’t cut Medicare, and a lot of other details.
Doesn’t that mean your plan is already written? How can you just now be asking for “a serious set of proposals” as if there were no plan yet?
Mr. President, if I were cynical I’d suspect that you don’t really have a plan. I’d suspect you had David Axelrod conduct polling and focus group research to find a few words and phrases that elicit positive responses. Then I’d suspect you strung those words and phrases together in this speech and called them “The Plan.”