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Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham

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Obama is inconsistent on health care reformDouglas Turner July 27, 2009, 7:11 AM / Story tools: LargerSmallerSavePrintEmailShare this story:WASHINGTON — Among the many problems undercutting President Obama's health care plan is that he is always moving the goalposts.

In the 2008 campaign, Obama at first wasn't going to quite cover everyone.

The plan offered by then Sen.

Hillary Rodham Clinton would have, and it would have cost less money.

Both Democratic candidates implied there would be a so-called public option, a government-run plan.

Then, as Election Day neared, Obama suggested coverage would be universal.

Last week, his press conference left people scratching their heads.

Obama subtly changed the wording, for example, from health care reform to "health insurance reform." And he threw around a lot of data that didn't add up.

To limit details on the business executives he was negotiating with, Obama invoked a kind of executive privilege on White House visitors' lists.

No matter how expensive, redundant, corrupt, confused and unproductive the nation's health maintenance system is right now, it is going to take a tsunami of advocacy to overcome the blatant whoppers Obama hurled at the nation in prime time.

He claimed it would not increase the federal deficit.

It absolutely will at first, and should.

Obama shrank from the truth that there is nothing wrong with spending billions on the health of our people while we are running up deficits in military adventures and assassination plots overseas.

He insisted it would expand coverage to 97 percent of the people, while there is only one bill being considered that would accomplish that.

Americans, he maintained, pay "thousands" a year to provide care for the uninsured, while the real cost is about $200.

Obama said our health care costs are $6,000 more than the next highest nation, when the real per capita number is about half that.

The analysis can be found on the respected Web site,, to which readers referred this column right after the speech.

Instead of buttressing support for a desperately needed overhaul of health care, Obama's performance emboldened Republicans and others who want to continue the costly swamp that is the status quo.


Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, noisily backed out of bipartisan negotiations.


Roy Blunt of Missouri, the GOP's point man on health care issues, said he will not offer a bill.

Obama's reform drive has also been stalled by his failure to organize for it the way he did for his own election, and by failing to deal toughly with the lies spread by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.

Limbaugh said the government would use digitized medical records to "blackmail" us.

Hannity said Obama would "dramatically" reduce care for seniors.

Ingraham suggested the program would spur "death camps" for the elderly.

These attacks, plus the millions spent here by the opposition insurance and medical industries, have prompted an epidemic of wobbly knees among two dozen House Democrats, including five in New York, who don't want to raise taxes on the rich to help pay for the program.

New York's Working Families Party is targeting the five, who include Reps.

Eric Massa, D-Corning, and Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse, with a petition drive to support the president.

The party is a trifle late getting into the game, as is the New York branch of Organizing for America, which just announced its staff appointments last week.

"Organizing" is an outgrowth of the grass-roots efforts that elected Obama.

It had its first rally for the main bill, the Affordable Health Choices Act, on June 6.

This and dozens of other hometown groups are going to have to do much more over the August recess to rebuild congressional support for the program.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows overwhelming support for reform.

Accordingly, Rep.

Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, is strongly supporting Obama and the leadership bill.

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