Don’t believe your lying ears!

I must admit, I’m having a hard time keeping up. I’m not sure which quote I’m supposed to believe and when. There are so many people saying so many things and then coming back and telling me “no, wait, what I meant to say was . . .” Why can’t people just say what they mean and stand by it? If it were just some dolt in the grocery store or restaurant I frequented, I wouldn’t much care. But we’re talking about really important people, like a Supreme Court nominee and the President of the United States!!

For example, just a couple of weeks ago, we were having a national discussion on health care. It was so important, the President held a prime time press conference – again! What was the big news out of this press conference: single-payer? pre-conditions? universal coverage? Nope! The press was abuzz about a question the President answered near the end that had nothing to do with health care. Instead, the President inserted himself into a police matter in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When the President answered this question, he was self-assured, animated, confident. He boldly state that he didn’t know what happened in that house in Cambridge but that he thought it was clear the cops “acted stupidly” (are we sure this guy went to Harvard?). The next day, this local police matter becomes the talk of the nation. So out stomps Obama to clean up the mess he made. He comes to the podium at the daily White House press briefing looking down, much less animated, very thoughtful. He said he wished he had “calibrated” his comments better. I’m not sure what that means but I think it means he wished he hadn’t said what he said. So what am I supposed to believe? The confident off-the-cuff, shoot-from-the-hip guy who laid out the Cambridge police, or the more tempered, “calibrated” guy who came out the next day.

Just prior to that we had a week of testimony from our Supreme Court Justice nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. There was quite a bit of controversy over several of her remarks. We talked about them here. One of them was that she said on many different occasions, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” For this she has been labeled everything from a pioneer to a racist. But when she got before the Senate Judicial Committee, she totally backpedaled. In her testimony, she said, “I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging.” So what am I supposed to believe? Those two statements are mutually exclusive. One can’t be true if the other is true. And yet, when she wasn’t a Supreme Court nominee, she had no problem saying it. . .over. . .and over. . .and over. At least five times in speeches given over seven years. And that’s just the ones we know about. So if she really believes that, why not stand up and be proud of it? Why hedge?

Now we get to the health care debate. President Obama has said many times that his health care reform must include the freedom to keep whatever insurance you currently have if you want to. Seriously, watch.

He said it. Did you hear him? He’s been saying every time he gets in front of a microphone, which is often! But now there is video circulating from Naked Emperor News showing several times when Obama is advocating a Universal Health Care system which would replace the private insurance system we have now. Take a look.

It seems there are several advocates for a government-run universal health care in this video. Not to mention the many various times that the President expressed his preference for it. BTW, all Democrats. So once again, who am I to believe? The Obama who has committed to me on several occasions that my private insurance will still be available to me or the one who says he wants a single-payer, government-run system? Fortunately, the White House has released a video which will help me decide.

On the White House blog (did you know the White House had a blog?), they posted an article refuting the idea that the President’s health care reform would eliminate private insurance. They cited a few of the many aforementioned times he said he wasn’t going to get rid of private insurance, but made no attempt to refute the numerous times he said he would get rid of private insurance. Interesting. Why don’t we just read the bill?

There are a variety of bills in Congress but only one has made it out of committee. That is called America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. So what does the bill say about my ability to keep my insurance. My hat is off here to my friend, anamericanidiot. He has a great article about the health care reform bill and alerted me to page 16 of the bill. I recently downloaded the bill (over 1000 pages) and low and behold there it is on page 16.

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.”

So now what does that mean?!? What it means is that you can keep your coverage after the legislation takes effect as long as you don’t make any changes to your coverage. This provision effectively outlaws private health insurance. If you make any changes after the bill is in place, your insurance company will need to re-enroll you which is forbidden. I don’t know about you, but every health insurance I have had from my employer requires me to re-enroll or opt out every year. So, yes, you can keep your private health insurance. . .for no more than a year!!!

Well that’s fine if that’s what he wants to do. Why all the subterfuge? Why not just tell us what he wants and do it? Geez! The good news is that word of this is starting to get out. As Ms. Douglas points out in her White House blog video, members of Congress are taking the opportunity of the Congressional recess to go out and pitch the health care bill to their constituents. Cool! How’s that working out?

Perhaps the reason they don’t tell us what they really want to do is because they know they are not part of the mainstream of America. They know that if Ms. Sotomayor embraced her racial bias instead of trying to hide it, the only bench she would sit on is in Central Park! If we knew that the President has a racial prejudice against white police officers, regardless of the facts in a case, his role as a post-racial figure would be blown. If we knew that he really was trying to socialize health care, it would already be dead (and it may be!).

Say what you want about George Bush, he said what he was going to do and did it. You may disagree with it, but he didn’t back down. He literally dared us to vote him out of office if we disagreed with his approach. Perhaps we should believe our lying ears!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Don’t believe your lying ears!

  1. Jay Corn

    Reed, you have become a great writer. I like the content as well as the ability to communicate with all. So many writers/reporters/politicians have lost their ability (if they ever had it ) to express exactly what they mean without straying into tangents. Keep up the good work. Have you added this to an RSS feed?

  2. fancybeggar

    I think that what the President meant when he said he would like to “recalibrate” his comments about the police officers is that, while the officers actions quite clearly did not ultimately work to protect and serve the rights of the innocent man inside his house that they were sent to be there to protect and serve, the word “stupidly” does not properly convey all of the problems displayed in their attitude and actions. It’s more of a personal comment than constructive criticism that could help them understand how to become proper public servents. I do take your point that “recalibrate” is a funny way to say that, though. Most people say “rephrase.”

    On your point about the seeming (or actual)contradictions in the statements about healthcare, I think what were seeing here is that the final, best plan is still being worked out. I’m glad to see that it’s not just a “I figured out what will work best for you people, and that’s what your getting.” It’s being discussed and it’s evolving. That’s our democracy in action, I think.

    As far as Ms. S goes (I’m not going to try and spell it), I find what she’s saying to be entirely consistent rather than “mutually exclusive.” I think that she’s saying, on the one hand, that she feels that the life she has lived has given her a unique point of view that makes her better able to judge the cases that come before her to her own yardstick of appropriateness than anyone else in the world. As I’ve said before, and as I’m sure you agree, that’s the only attitude I’d want in someone I’ve hired to judge things. The only other perspective would be “gee, I don’t know if my background and experience makes me the best person to judge that… perhaps you should ask someone else.” Wouldn’t it be great to have a Supreme Court full of those? On the other hand, I think she’s acknowledging, for those who don’t “get it,” that this is not meant to say that other people, who have a different life experience, aren’t justified in making the same comment. What she’s saying matches up exactly with the way I feel about it, so I think I do “get it.”

    I hope that helps to add a unifying perspective. There’s nothing wrong with your ears. It’s just a matter of turning the box around a little bit and seeing things from a different angle.

  3. Hey Jay! Yes, on the right side of the page there are several tools to keep up with my blog. At the top is an email subscription link. Enter your email and my blogs show up in your email box as soon as I publish a new article. Further down, there is a link called “Entries RSS.” Click on that and you can bookmark it in your browser and see updates on an RSS feed. Keep up the good comments.

    Fancy, I hope you’re right about the health care. I hope it evolves from what it is to something that might actually help. I’m just concerned that the President will get what he wants, which appears to be a single-payer plan. That will bankrupt us as a nation. By the way, we’re already broke.

  4. Fancy,

    Nothing is evolving in the health care debate. The bill is unchanged in spite of Republican efforts to remove page 16. Democrats are hell-bent on dismantling and destroying private health insurance. I like my coverage and want to keep it but I cannot under this plan. As Reed accurately wrote, when my plan comes up for renewal it will be gone. My $20 co-pay will shoot to between $50 & $75 (according to a CNN report.)

    I recently scheduled a minor general surgery and had to wait 18 days. I just went to the Canadian Ministry of Health website and check the wait times in Toronto. The average is 99 days with some hospitals posting 200 days. Don’t believe me? http://www.waittimes.net/waittimes/en/wt_data_map.aspx?LHIN=7&Mod=0

    This is all about power – not health care. Once enacted Democrats will use it or rather the threat of losing it to remain in power as long as they can fund the government. When default occurs we might be able to free ourselves of them.

  5. Susan D

    Being in the health care industry AND in insurance, I agree that SOMETHING has to be done to drive down costs. But are you kidding me….universal health care is a disaster……just ask all my RN/Doctor friends that work in Canada. They will tell you horror stories of the care, of the wait times…………you want to trade good Health Care in to ‘save’ a buck? (or so they say.) We were already going in the right directions controlling drug companies and how they ‘buy’ doctors with their fancy packages……trim the health care abuse……..does the CEO’s of these industries really need to make 8-9 hundred thousand a year???…. drive down costs??? lets start with the obvious….. Obama is Crazy to think Universal Health Care is the answer, try to be on the other side before making decisions like this…………..I KNEW this would happen before he was voted in. But regardless, this will truly be the worst possbile thing that can happen if this reform happens. Hmmmm why does so many Canadians come to the US for Health Care???? yes, thier meds are cheap, but our health care is MUCH better……which would YOU rather have. Reed thanks for sharing….. Great job putting it all in perspective for those that don’t understand.

  6. I had not given it much thought but I do wonder if Obama didn’t make the “stupidly” remark on purpose to distract from the health care debate which was turning sour on him. It is certainly a possibility.

  7. reedkeys

    Welcome Susan! Thanks for the input. It’s always good to hear from someone in the industry. As I see it, the problem with the system is that when I walk into a doctor’s office, I am not the customer and I have no control over how much I pay. The first question I’m asked is, “who is your insurance company?” That’s because they are the doctor’s customer not me. If I could have the ability to shop for the doctor and pay what I want, have a rating system in place so I know if I’m paying for a good doctor or a bad one, and get a tax break on my medical expenses, I think we could turn this around overnight!

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