Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obama in Montana

I think this is a particularly good town hall. Obama's discussions with the people are rather informative. Pay special attention to one "Randy" a "proud member of the NRA" who gets his news from "them cable news stations." Obama's answers to this man's loaded question are especially interesting:

46 minutes in, Obama clarifies what the "public option" is. He makes it clear here both what that option is and why it is not the "government takeover" its critics fear. Obama's basic argument is that the public option will not exclude or eliminate private plans, but rather help to foster fair competition.

The one problem that remains for me is that the public option might be too weak. Obama says it must pay for itself and will not be subsidized. But then, will the public option be too weak to fairly compete with private insurance? Remember, the goal of the public option is to create a system that reduces costs for people .. can it do this with a limited pool of money?

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  1. The only problem is that in trying to bend over backwards to accommodate his opponents, he incorrectly defines the public option in such a weak weak manner that he makes its existence seem absolutely redundant and completely pointless. Unless he has the guts to really drive home how fundamentally incompatible the free market and the delivery of health care is, he is not going to win the argument and his approval is going to plummet.

  2. Hang on! Health care reform is a moving target. It appears that the "public option" may be further weakened. The signals coming out of the White House this weekend seem indicate a willingness to negotiate away from even the weak government health insurance option. How did the Democrats get into this impossible situation? If they move ahead on a government plan, the Republicans will clobber them with it in the next elections. If they do not move ahead or compromise too much, it will weaken the support of the liberal Democrats. It looks to me like the last presidential campaign and its results moved us toward a revision of the political process according to the developing new technologies. This revision may also move America toward a redefinition of what democracy is. This whole thing is getting interesting. RA

  3. Interesting is one way of putting it. I think profoundly dissappointing is more accurate.

    I read about the willingness to drop the public plan very shortly after posting this.

    It's terribly sad. Obama should have had more guts. But President Compromise has not fire in his belly.


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