Scorched Earth Politics

In my AIP column last week I said President Obama and his statist allies in Congress have a scorched earth mentality regarding health care and cap and trade, but particularly about health care. They will do anything to get their health care plan implemented no matter what the consequences to their own party or to the American economy. Today we learn just how true that is.

We already know the American people do not want the president’s health care plan, especially as we learn how awful it really is. The president has said for months that if you like your current private health care plan you can keep it. That is a lie. HR 3200 kills the private insurance industry. It’s pretty hard to keep your private insurance plan when all the private insurance companies are driven out of business.

Additionally, Erick Erickson at Red State tells us that in section 1233 of HR 3200 the elderly are required to visit their doctors and nurse practitioners every 5 years to discuss information such as living wills, hospice, durable powers of attorney, and other end of life decisions. Erick remarks:

The section requires that they talk to their doctor, not a lawyer, about living wills, durable healthcare powers of attorney, hospice, etc. Given the progressive intelligentsia already being on the record in favor of euthanizing the elderly, it is no small leap to see where the Democrats are headed with this.

Legally forcing senior citizens to have “death with dignity schedules every few years is just another way to say the government wants to make sure seniors know it is time to commit suicide to save the system money.

In spite of the news about how awful this bill is, the president has made it clear he will use any means necessary to force it onto the American people no matter how much they do not want it. In a conference call with liberal bloggers, the president even said he may use the parliamentary procedure called reconciliation if he has to in order to make sure this bill passes in the Senate:

Jonathan Singer: Well thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Mr. President. Given the timeline and the fact that it seems like bills may not be through both the House and Senate by the August recess, is there a point at which you would say to the Senate, “Sixty votes doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. Use the reconciliation process. Lower the threshold so the Republicans cannot delay the process.” I know that’s not optimal. But is there a point at which you would say that to the Senate?

President Obama: Keep in mind that the way we had structured the reconciliation issue several months ago, we moved forward on the basis of the assumption that we can get a bill through the regular order and the regular process by October. If I think that that is not possible, then we are going to look at all of our options, including reconciliation. Not because that’s my preferred option, but because what I think will be unacceptable for the American people is inaction at a time when we have been seeing families bankrupted, businesses straining under the cost of healthcare, and in the absence of action, a continuation of Medicare and Medicaid trajectory that is unsustainable.

Sorry folks, but that last sentence is the worst kind of perversion of the CBO’s statement. This is what Director Elmendorf wrote on his blog about unsustainability of Obama’s budget:

Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law.

This is what the director said Obama’s health care plan would do to that already unsustainable federal budget Emphasis mine:

According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill’s insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.

By the end of the 10-year period, in 2019, the coverage provisions would add $202 billion to the federal deficit, CBO and JCT estimate. That increase would be partially offset by net cost savings of $50 billion and additional revenues of $86 billion, resulting in a net increase in the deficit of an estimated $65 billion.

President Obama’s argument that his health care plan will prevent the federal budget from becoming unsustainable is pure, unadulterated FANTASY. He knows it and the liberal bloggers who were on yesterday’s conference call know it, but they all just go along with this fantasy and suspend any form of truth or reality in order to push their lie that Obama’s health care plan will actually increase competition and save the country and the American people money. It’s shocking how far these people will go and the lies they will tell in order to force government run health care onto the American people. If the president gets his way and forces it through the Senate, there will be a political earthquake as Peter Ferrera predicts. Last night on Hannity, Dick Morris opined that Obama will allow himself to become a one term president if that is what it takes to get his government run health care plans passed and implemented. If Morris is right, and I suspect he is, then Obama is in fact utilizing scorched earth politics.

Update: Why am I not surprised that President Obama doesn’t have a clue what’s in HR 3200, particularly the section that makes private health insurance illegal (Emphasis mine):

During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”

I’d like to hear an Obama supporter explain this to us. For months now President Obama has been saying that if you like your current private health insurance plan you can keep it. In reality, however, HR 3200 would make it illegal for private insurers to change existing customers’ plans and to enroll new customers, putting these insurers out of business, yet President Obama didn’t know a thing about this section of the bill?! It’s as if he’s making claims expecting them to just magically appear because he’s commanded it. I don’t see how anyone could come to any other conclusion than the president is living and working in a vacuum completely divorced from the reality of the process and is making claims he has no business making. Before he spouts off at the mouth any further, he needs to meet with his bosses to find out what they’ve put in this thing.

Update II: The American Thinker points out all the racial preferences in HR 3200:

Under the Democrats’ health care bill, if a medical school wants to increase its chances of receiving many different kinds of grants and contracts from the federal government, it should have a demonstrated record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups. This is because the Democrats’ health care bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to give preference to the entities that have demonstrated such a record in the awarding of these contracts to medical schools and other institutions.

Instead of training the smartest people with the best academic records to be doctors, medical schools will be encouraged to train the people with right skin color.

Update III: Take a poll on how you feel about Obama and the economy.

Sophistry: Obama, Painkillers and Pained Words
One Giant Leap For Mankind