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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)

    Barack Obama: has he been mortally wounded by health care re

    Barack Obama: has he been mortally wounded by health care reform?

    When Barack Obama was elected President of the United States there was a widespread sense that he was no ordinary mortal.

    By Toby Harnden in Washington
    Published: 7:00AM BST 09 Sep 2009

    Obama's popularity rating of some 70 per cent after his inauguration now hovers around the 50 per cent mark

    His historic campaign had engendered a sense of deification around him and his inspiring life story meant that many Americans invested their hopes and dreams in this inexperienced politician who had been a Senator for a mere four years.

    Mr Obama himself made clear he did not want or expect to be just any old President. Rather, he saw himself as a new Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt of John F. Kennedy. Many Americans thought he might be a synthesis of all three.

    No more. A long, hot summer, when controversy over health care reform bubbled over, has brought Mr Obama back down to earth. His popularity rating of some 70 per cent after his inauguration now hovers around the 50 per cent mark - the danger zone in which a President cannot be sure of re-election.

    His decline in popularity is more than a temporary blip. Outside the realm of the extraordinary event - the September 11 attacks sent President George W. Bush's ratings soaring to 90 per cent - Mr Obama has now joined the ranks of the ordinary, mere mortal presidents.

    But while the graph of his poll rating looks like that of a heart patient in terminal decline, Mr Obama has ample time in which to recover and solidify his political position. Although Democrats currently stand to lose a slew of congressional seats in next November's mid-terms, the odds remain that he will be re-elected.

    Despite the contentiousness of the health care debate, in which conservatives have charged that "death panels" would be drawn up to tell pensioners it is too expensive to keep them alive and there has been a wave of opposition to "government-run" health care, there is a core of consensus.

    Most Americans are faintly embarrassed that theirs is the only country in the developed world in which there is no comprehensive national health-care plan for all of its citizens, some 46 million of whom are uninsured.

    There is widespread dismay at the huge costs of health-care and insurance companies, who refuse people with "pre-existing conditions" and jettison clients who become ill because the illness was not declared beforehand, are viewed as unscrupulous or even evil.

    Mr Obama's problem, however, is that he has lost control over the debate, allowing his opponents to define what his plan was because the president himself had been too timid to spell out exactly what he wanted.

    The anger over health care reform also indicates a broader worry about Mr Obama after the $787 billion (£486 billion) economic stimulus bill, passed amid a sense of economic crisis in February by members of Congress who had not had time to read it.

    Americans struggling to balance their own household budgets view the national debt of $11 trillion - and increasing at a rate of $4 billion a day - with disbelief.

    The colossal amounts of spending introduced by Mr Obama have left most voters wondering how on earth everything can be paid for.

    There is moreover, no sense of crisis about the health-care system.

    Although many grumble about costs and red tape, most insured Americans are relatively happy with their coverage.

    Looking at a vague, hugely expensive proposal from a President whose profound wisdom is in much greater question than it was at the start of the year, many Americans would prefer to play it safe and leave the health-care system as it is.

    Mr Obama will need to use all of his undoubted political and rhetorical skills to deliver a health care bill that not only passes Congress but will also improve the lot of most Americans.

    Such a bill would be the first step in halting the slide in his fortunes. Failure, of course, could lead to an even more dramatic fall in the coming months. ... eform.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member 4thHorseman's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Gulf Coast
    Mr Obama will need to use all of his undoubted political and rhetorical skills to deliver a health care bill that not only passes Congress but will also improve the lot of most Americans.
    Obama has no bill. He has 3 versions or so from the House, and two from the Senate, only one of which has been seen by the public (HR 3200). The only action that will improve the lot of most Americans is to start over. There are numerous things that can be done to take care of the core 15-20 million without insurance and to bring health care costs down without screwing up the entire system. Oddly, none of these actions appeared in HR 3200, and are not likely in any other version put forth by Congress. This because neither the President nor the Democratic Party leadership have slightest interest in improving the lot of most Americans or in reducing health care costs or providing more insurance options. Their interest is in political power, and having all of that health care insurance money streaming thru the greedy little hands of Congress where hardly any of it ever winds up paying for health care. No, it will be spent to buy votes, solidify political power, and line the pockets of a few at the expense of the rest of us.
    "We have met the enemy, and they is us." - POGO

  3. #3
    Senior Member roundabout's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Well said 4thHorseman.

    Enough with the rhetoric. I want to hear real reform. Less government involvement and less regulations that help to shore up the insurance companies, that in turn help to shore up the politicians.

    I was listening to C-Span I believe just a few days ago, an interview with Rep. Hoyer, he stated that there was about $2.4T spent on health care in this country anually. One half private, and one half government! The government deserves more?

    Also on the radio was a report about a doctor in NY that was charging people $80 a month for unlimited walk in visits with a $10 co-pay. The NY State Insurance Commisar said that it looked to much like insurance and the doctor was forced to quit the program. If a person can retain an attorney with retaining fees, why can't a person retain a doctor with retaining fees? If a group of doctors wish to start a clinic and charge a membership fee or a retainer, why not? Hows about a waiver form when signed would preclude happy lawsuits in return for lesser fees? Hows about, dare I say it,.... tort reform? Starve a lawyer insure a child, or two dozen?

    I would like to be able to retain a doctor for regular visits at the doctors office with the doctor of my choice that offers such a service and then I would like to be able to purchase in a competitive market place catastophic medical insurance. Get out the actuary tables and earn your salt!

    I do not believe that real reform looks anything like any of the bull that is coming out of Washington from the bunch of commies known as congressmen. A damned bunch of corrupt so and so's.

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