Barack Obama

You're Either With Us, Or With the Insurance Companies

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Here's how President Barack Obama began his weekly radio address this weekend:

Over the past few decades, there has been an intense struggle in Washington between the lobbyists for the insurance industry and the interests of the American people

Just like that! Debate over a hellishly complicated policy (really, many hundreds of overlapping policies) that currently gobbles up one-sixth of GDP, boiled down to a single us vs. them, people vs. the power. Good thing we no longer have such a simplistic, Manichean president….

With an opener like that, it probably won't take long to get the false health-care economics consensus cooking up. Sure enough:

Simply put, the protections currently included in both the health insurance reform bill passed by the House and the version currently on the Senate floor would represent the toughest measures we've ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable.  Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn't read the bills.

So Howard Dean hasn't read the bills? Americans for Tax Reform hasn't read the bills? I or any other human being on this earth, if we dropped everything and read every word of the 2,457-page monster, we would come to the same conclusion?

The health insurance industry, as Reason readers know, has been helping craft this reform all along, while receiving the back of the hand whenever deemed to stray off message. As almost always with these kinds of things, the dwindling number of giants within the industry are certain to profit handsomely, if for no other reason than that the barrier to their competitors' entry is being built up still higher. Like smokers in blue states, they'll probably make for handy targets of hatred and government tribute, until they cease to exist altogether.

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  1. Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn’t read the bills.

    This is probably true, since no one could possibly have read the entirety of both bills.

    1. Of course, he probably hasn’t read it either, so what he hell does he know about it?

      1. He knows it’s historic, and as the MSM has informed us again and again, anything historic is good and must be done RIGHT NOW.

    2. It is possible to read. ( If you don’t mind your brain boiling and your eyes turning to jelly like mush)

      It would take a week if your read for 5-6 hrs a day. I can read ( and comprehend about 11-1200 words in a week. Ans that’s hauling ass.

      But this is chocked full of brain numbing politico-ease that tends to contradict itself with in a paragraph or two. I honestly tried reading it, and after 20 pages my eyes glossed over, my breathing shallow and my partner found me on the floor twitching…reaching for the bong.

      1. umm that is pages not words…yah yehaw..i cans understand only 1200 words a week….damn damn the edit ghost…

  2. Let me be clear: I’m jammin’ this chocolate sausage up your asses in an unprecedented power grab, and there ain’t shit you can do about it.

    1. How can you get one sausage up many asses?

      1. Serially.

  3. Are you suggesting Obama is lying?
    You could be prosecuted and go to prison for that.

    1. Suggesting? Why, no. I’ll say flat out that Obama is a goddamned lying motherfucker. That plain enough for eveyone?

      1. Every word he says is a lie, including “and” and “the.”

        1. I’m just trying to wrap my mind around how “the” could be false. That’s a toughy.

    2. I like how the House decorum rules forbid calling the President or any Representative a liar…but don’t forbid the President or Representatives from actually lying.

      1. Whether anyone is lying or not depends on what the meaning of the word is is.

      2. Do you expect Congress to sit around in silence?

  4. I am with you — and opposed to the insurance industry.

  5. …until they cease to exist altogether.

    Wasn’t that the whole idea to begin with?

  6. Is the Senate bill even available to read?

  7. Another thing that really bothers me about this health care bill is that they are employing the classic tactic of phasing it in gradually. That way, when all the negative consequences occur, they can deny it had anything to do with this bill, and use those consequences as an excuse for government to intervene even more. I expect a financial health care crisis in the coming years, and I expect it to be handled the same way our current recession is being handled.

    1. You weren’t supposed to notice that.

    2. “” employing the classic tactic of phasing it in gradually.””

      It’s not something that you can throw a switch and it all works.

  8. Here’s how President Barack Obama began his weekly radio address this weekend:

    Over the past few decades, there has been an intense struggle in Washington between the lobbyists for the insurance industry and the interests of the American people

    Another inspirational moment from the Dear Leader, Barack Chavez.

    1. I read that as Black Chavez.

      1. Is that like Kahlua and Tequila?

  9. That way, when all the negative consequences occur, they can deny it had anything to do with this bill, and use those consequences as an excuse for government to intervene even more.

    That’s actually the way government has worked for about the last one hundred years. That’s how it has managed to grow so much.

    1. Agreed, but it’s still frustrating that so many fall for that same scam over and over. The USA has the collective attention span of a gnat.

      One encouraging thing is that the Internet makes it a lot easier to dredge up documents and speeches from the past and call people out. 2012 will be an interesting test of how well that’s working.

      1. “”Internet makes it a lot easier to dredge up documents and speeches from the past and call people out.””

        Which might be why the republicans are being treated like they have no credibility. Take Mitch McConnell for instance. He’s saying the current health care bill is bad because it’s a huge growth of government, and no one is reading it before they signed it. But he voted for the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act without reading it, and didn’t make much of a stink about it.

        There is a lot of calling people out that can be done. I don’t think it will be very effective though. It’s just the party not in power calling out the party in power. There is little difference when they change seats. Sadly.

        1. But he voted for the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act without reading it

          In fairness, the PATRIOT act included a bunch of provisions that the FBI and the IC had been begging for for years, so people had read most of the provisions. Doesn’t make them a good idea.

          In fact, if you believe Joe Biden, the entire Patriot Act was basically his bill that he wrote in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing but those cowardly civil liberty-loving Republicans wouldn’t pass it.

          In the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Biden did, in fact, champion an anti-terrorism bill similar to the one now before Congress (though it was, as he complains, badly watered down by anti-government conservatives and leftist civil libertarians). And Biden doesn’t let you forget it. “I introduced the terrorism bill in ’94 that had a lot of these things in it,” he bragged to NBC’s Tim Russert on September 30. When I spent the day with him later that week, Biden mentioned the legislation to me, and to several other reporters he encountered, no fewer than seven times. “When I was chairman in ’94 I introduced a major antiterrorism bill–back then,” he says in the morning, flashing a knowing grin and pausing for effect. (Never mind that he’s gotten the year wrong.) Back in his office later that afternoon, he brings it up yet again. “I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill.” You don’t say.

          1. It was still a bill that he didn’t read, and voted for, and who the hell believes Biden?

  10. “You’re Either With Us, Or With the Insurance Companies”

    If Cthulhu is the alternative, I think I’ll stay with the sharks, thank you very much.

  11. Did anyone else think Stossel’s show on healthcare was awful? Kudos to the Whole Foods guy and all, but he’s not a fucking expert. Basically I got 45 minutes of his 10th-grade opinion on capitalism.

    The show has been a big disappointment so far.

  12. “You’re Either With Us, Or With the Insurance Companies”

    Ah! The “big lie” strategy. Tell a big enough and outrageous enough lie and people are more likely to fall for it.

  13. that is hilarious because if you are in favor of the healthcare bill you are with the insurance companies. they are the ones lobbying and writing the bill, they are the ones that stand to benefit. forcing people to buy insurance benefits the insurance companies, not the people.

  14. The funny thing is the insurance companies are probably telling him to say that stuff to make sure they get their mandate passed.

  15. “I plan to work with Republicans as well as Democrats…”

    “What about independents?”

    “Uh…” (translation: Does not compute.)

    When he said this on the campaign trail, this is when I knew Obama was an us or them politician.

  16. And we’re standing up for the American people and sticking it to the evil insurance companies by . . . forcing every American to purchase the insurance company’s product at gunpoint.

    Makes perfect sense.

  17. Saturday night is scheduled for “Versicherungsgesellschaft
    Kristallnacht.”
    Don’t forget your clubs.

  18. They have totally handed the EvilInsuranceCorps their asses.

    That’s why the headlines on Google News right now say stuff like, “Insurers’ Shares Soar on News of Health Care Bill.”

  19. Us or the insurance companies?

    Who is this us?? It’s not the Obama admin, nor dems on the hill, they are about to give insurance companies the gift of a life time.

    1. “We have met the enemy and them is us.” – Pogo; Walt Kelly, creator.

  20. boiled down to a single us vs. them, people vs. the power.

    Obama Gonwins his own threads.

  21. “Over the past few decades, there has been an intense struggle in Washington between the lobbyists for the insurance industry and the interests of the American people”

    That’s great. He’s starting to become caricature of himself.

    Even I agreed with him I suspect I’d be a little tired of that maneuver by now. People who do nothing but ascribe evil intentions to anyone who doesn’t see the genius of their plans irritate me even if I happen to agree with their plans. This case is worse since I don’t, and am therefore bought and paid for by the insurance industry (you’d think my checking account would be healthier).

  22. “You’re Either With Us, Or With the Insurance Companies,” says the man with the lobbycock deep in his throat.

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