First, the best coverage of the White House health care “summit” at Blair House in Washington, D.C., today is on C-SPAN 3 because it shows the name cards of the speakers and sometimes a chyron identifying the speaker. Also, it does not show irrelevent messages and a crawl as second-best Fox News is doing. CNN and MSNBC have anchors and reporters who can’t follow the issue, so they are doing interviews supporting their narratives. (Bah! Humbug!)
Obama has only the vaguest grasp of health care policy, but he DOES know how to weave buzz words into speeches so long that it requires super human powers to continue to listen to him instead of praying for the sweet release of death.
Obama also seems to be getting cues from an earbud device and covers his mouth to speak back to the voices in his ear.
I do not have all day to follow this meeting, but Sen. Chuck Schumer made some remarks so ignorant of the healthcare process that I must address them. Schumer denounced doctors who wave at you at the hospital bed and then “charge you $4,000.”
You should GIVE THANKS for a doctor who puts his or her time into doing the real job of providing your care and DOES NOT get sucked into stroking your ego. Because that doctor may have had to get waked up in the night to change your meds or order new tests. And definitely that doctor just spent a good chunk of time reviewing your test results and nurses’ notes, rounding up specialists you need, discussing your care with the other doctors involved and fighting with your insurance company to get you the care you need.
Patients can be clingy and needy and if the doctor has to cut off their complaints that are NOT helping the doctor provide them the best care, they get insulted when the doctor has to cut them off. Nobody wins.
The next time your doctor walks by your door and just waves, smile and wave back. You didn’t see him or her hard at work on your behalf, but they were doing their job and deserve their fees.
Conservatives should stop deluding themselves that there’s anything that will kill the fake healthcare reform legislation advocated by Obama/Reid/Pelosi short of Republicans taking back the House and Senate in November and the White House in 2012. That’s because the purpose of the legislation is NOT to provide healthcare reform but to transform our economy to socialism using the bait of greater security.
Our healthcare system does have real problems and it is one of the greatest mistakes of conservatives that they — um, we — did not take this issue away from Leftists by getting real healthcare reform done: tort reform, the ability to purchase insurance over state lines, uncoupling health insurance from employment, and so on. The way Leftists are able to keep this issue alive is by airing the real problems in a never-ending bait-and-switch where they promise their solutions will solve the problems without revealing that the real price is enslavement to a totalitarian government with a hopelessly stagnant economy, or by getting their true believers to consider that a reasonable price.
Update, 2/25/2010, Thurs., 1:36 PM, ET: If you don’t get C-SPAN3 on TV, you can watch it online at C-SPAN.org.
C-SPAN3 has three telephone lines for callers — Republican, Democrat and Independent — and at 1:30 pm, ET, gave time to a concern troll on the Republican line who claimed to be a Republican since the 1960’s. I doubt it. See HillBuzz’s latest post on recognizing concern trolls.
One of the worst proposals being floated in the Blair House summit is that doctors should be paid by results instead of the number of services they perform. NO! Since the Democrats also refuse to pass tort reform to lower the cost of malpractice insurance — which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in high-risk specialties like obstetrics — paying by results will increase the incentive for doctors to refuse patients with difficult or complex health problems. In addition, doctors have no control at all over whether their patients are compliant with their doctors’ orders, which means doctors have limited control over the results they can achieve through no fault of their own.
Obama’s arrogance and snideness are on full display in this meeting. However, they don’t seem to be cowing anyone and Fox News is reporting viewers are ticked off about it. Who could have predicted that members of Congress with vastly more experience with these kinds of meetings than Obama would be invulnerable to such paltry manipulations?
One of the delightful things about Fox’s coverage is that they are including the contributions on their blog and the Twittersphere. This is a watershed time in news coverage because Twitter and the blogosphere now make it a conversation with the viewers. For example, Jonah Goldberg just opined that this summit is only interesting to policy wonks and Fox said their blog was “lit up” with people disagreeing and saying they are riveted and consider it a great civics lesson. Hah!