Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barack Obama's New Health Care Plan

I missed some of President Barack Obama's health care speech last Wednesday. (I didn't hear Congressman Joe Wilson's intra-speech response until later, on the news.) But I did see much of the speech, though, and some interviews and commentaries afterward.

One part of the speech really stood out to me. Obama said quite clearly that he is open to considering all serious proposals for inclusion in his health care program. He said, for example,

Now, 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.
That makes it sound like this speech was prepared for the introduction of a new issue — with or without an initial proposal. It's right for a time when the proposal outlines are being defined, not when the bill has already passed one House.

There's something else, too: A number of the statements Obama made about his proposal, even just in the part of the speech I heard, are at odds with what's in the one bill that's available to be read (HR3200). This strongly suggests the Obama White House is about to drop the current House bill and start over, or embrace a highly modified Senate bill, especially when coupled with Obama's stated openness to any "serious set of proposals". Otherwise he spent nearly an hour Wednesday evening being dishonest with us all.

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