When Camille Paglia really gets going, she’s hard to stop:
I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.
As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn’t conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it’s the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan — it’s the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.
… [S]omehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.
Ouch. And that’s from someone who “voted for Obama and continue[s] to support him.”
Like an increasing number of Americans, Paglia understands the vast differences between what the President has promised, what his policy wonks have advocated, and what Congress has actually delivered. As Paglia points out, there are several competing health care reform bills circulating through House and Senate committees, but there is no official health care reform plan from the White House. So how are we to believe President Obama’s promises about what is in “his plan” when the truth is he has no plan? Right now it seems that the White House is simply giving Congress carte blanche to come up with whatever health care reforms it can, under the assumption that President Obama will just rubber stamp whatever Reid and Pelosi hand him to sign.
Ironically, what President Obama promised during the campaign was a series of open and honest health care reform debates that would be broadcast on CSPAN. According to Candidate Obama, health care reform debates would never be held behind closed doors. The details would be openly discussed, and public access to the debate process would ensure that special interests did not hijack health care form bills. “Accountability” would be the gold standard for health care debates. According to Candidate Obama, the American people deserve to know exactly what is to be included in any health care reform legislation voted on by Congress. Go ahead – watch for yourself:
President Obama says that he does not support a national “single payer” health plan, because it would be “too disruptive.” And the President has promised over and over again that if you like your current employer-provided private insurance plan, “nothing will change” if the current House health care reform bill (or something like it) is signed into law. Yet one of his chief health care policy architects, Professor Jacob Hacker, told an audience just last year:
“Someone told me this was a Trojan horse for single-payer. Well, it’s not a Trojan horse, right? It’s just right there. I’m telling you. We’re going to get there, over time, slowly, but we’ll move away from reliance on employer-based health insurance as we should, but we’ll do it in a way that we’re not going to frighten people into thinking they’re going to lose their private insurance. We’re going to give them a choice of public and private insurance when they’re in the pool, and we’re going to let them keep their private employer-based insurance if their employer continues to provide it.”
President Obama smoothly assures us that under the proposed health care reforms there will be no “rationing,” and that everyone will continue to receive the best available treatment options. Yet President Obama himself, as well as several of his top health care policy advisers, are all on the record questioning the “sustainability” of expensive major medical procedures for the elderly or the terminally ill.
If you eliminate the phoney-baloney professional astroturf marketing program currently being implemented by the Obama White House in order to sell health care reform, and look solely at statements by Obama Administration advisers, prominent Democrat politicians, and President Obama himself, the ultimate goal of the current Democrat-authored health care reforms would seem to be a single-payer universal health care system driven primarily by cost control and efficiency standards, where patients would be scrutinized based on age and overall health before medical care is approved, in order to ensure that money spent on expensive medical procedures represents a worthwhile investment of government dollars.
Of course that’s not what President Obama is promising. But nowadays fewer and fewer Americans seem to be willing to believe what the President promises about a “plan” that, in reality, doesn’t even exist.