Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The Obama Medicine show continues...
The mainstream media stenographers (they aren’t really journalists anymore...) have been missing the boat for quite sometime. Their adoration of all things Obama have kept them from acting as they should, the watch dogs of the other three estates of government.
In the wake of the media blitzkrieg this last Sunday, we find that the President is still unable sell his program of government control of the health delivery system. Prior to that media blitz was the interview that occurred on September 9th, 2009. This glaring example of intellectual ineptitude was when David Axelrod one of the Presidents closest advisors was asked by Wolf Blitzer of CNN why the people couldn’t just be allowed to buy insurance across state lines, Mr. Axelrod dithered badly, uttering platitudes about how the states regulated their insurance markets and when Mr. Blitzer further pressed Mr. Axelrod why the feds couldn’t pre-empt the state regulators and force competition allowing the people to buy across state lines, Mr. Axelrod said that wasn’t the way the administration wanted to go.
Here is a transcript of the exchange between Mr. Axelrod and Mr. Blitzer:
BLITZER: Why not break down the state barriers and let all of these insurance companies compete nationally without having to simply focus in on a state by state basis?
AXELROD: Because we are trying to do this in a way that advances the — the interests of consumers without creating such disruption that it makes it difficult to move forward.
BLITZER: Why would that be disruptive? If Blue Cross and Blue Shield or United Health Care or all of these big insurance companies, they don’t have to worry about just working in a state, they could just have the opportunity to compete in all 50 states?
AXELROD: But insurance is regulated at the — at this time, Wolf…
BLITZER: But you could change that. The president could propose…
AXELROD: …state by state.
BLITZER: The president could propose a law…
AXELROD: That is not…
BLITZER: …changing that.
AXELROD: That is not endemic to the kind of reforms that we’re proposing or that…
BLITZER: Why not?
BLITZER: Why not?
AXELROD: …we think — we’re proposing a package that we believe will bring that stability and security to people, it will help people get insurance, it will be — it will lower the costs and that can pass the Congress. And that has to be the test. We’re not into a symbolic expedition here. We’re trying to bring real relief to hardworking middle class people in this country. We believe the plan that we’ve outlined will do that.
BLITZER: Because I want to move on, but if the president wanted great competition — greater competition — he could say let’s change the law and let these health insurance companies compete nationally.
AXELROD: I’m not sure, Wolf, that that would — that that would end the debate that you asked me about in the first place. And, you know, I think that the idea that he’s proposal will promote that. Others have other ideas. But they are not central.
What is blatantly clear is that “competition” means different thing to different people, and those differences lie along ideological and philosophical lines. If you subscribe to the usual, dictionary version, it is the freedom of like entities to go head to head and provide like products and services at market price in direct competition with each other. If Mr. Axelrod is to be believed, the Liberal Democrats have a far different idea of what constitutes competition.
What is also clear is that the administration doesn’t even want to try opening the broader market to competition.
It is clear to see by the most casual observer that the administration doesn’t want to face the possibility that simple, less complex solutions to health care costs reduction are not part of the agenda, which begs the question, what is the agenda? As with all government, the objective is control: control of the health delivery system in the United States. The government wishes additional bureaucracy and therefore will need additional funding to setup and run that bureaucracy. Additional funding means more taxes and more administration which requires more staff and more bureaucracy to administer those staffers, and so on and so on... It becomes a self-perpetuating, ever-increasingly complex of government regulation and taxes, all of which is controlled by an ever growing pool of government bureaucrats. Through this leviathan of control, the government can force the people and the insurance industry to do whatever they want us to do and we will have less choice, less freedom and less availability of products as private payers disappear from the scene do to the excessive government meddling and control.
This is what we have to look foreword to in the weeks and months to come as the Obama Medicine show continues its attempts to foist its graven vision of health care reform on the American public.