Health care reform

'We Are Eliminating the Impact of Lobbyists,' Including the Ones Who Snuck in the Provisions I Supported

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Yesterday I noted that during his Q&A with House Republicans on Friday, President Obama falsely claimed that he never said opponents of his health care plan were not offering alternatives. Here are a couple more whoppers from the same exchange:

1. "We've actually been very consistent in making sure that we are eliminating the impact of lobbyists, day in/day out, on how this administration operates" (emphasis added).

Even if you interpret that statement as an aspiration, it is neither realistic nor desirable. As long as politicians and their appointees are making decisions that affect people's interests, those people will try to influence them. Lobbying is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment, and although it can result in bad policies (as can freedom of speech in general), it can also block or reverse them.

2. "We said from the start it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people [that] if you want to keep the health insurance you've got, you can keep it; that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision-making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."

It's true that the health care legislation, contrary to Obama's promises, would have affected people who like the coverage they have. But that wasn't only because of "provisions that got snuck in"; it was also because of features that Obama himself backed, including the excise tax on especially expensive health benefits, which was designed to change people's coverage, and new regulations that would have effectively banned the combination of catastrophic coverage with health savings accounts.

I'll have more tomorrow, in a column about Obama's contribution to the "deficit of trust."

NEXT: Virginia Senate Says "No Thanks" to Mandatory Health Insurance

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  1. Didn’t I just read somewhere recently that this was a banner year for lobbyists? I guess he means next year, or the year after that, or later.

  2. “We said from the start it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people [that] if you want to keep the health insurance you’ve got, you can keep it.”

    Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

  3. “got snuck in”? Deficit of trust? How about deficit of grammar? And how about the provisions Obama snucked in himself, like “free ride in the Cadillac” for union members? To paraphrase Richard Milhous, it’s not lobbying when the President does it.

  4. Sneak-ed.

    1. Thank you. I HATE when people say “snuck”. Shouldn’t our bright and articulate president know the correct past tense of “sneak”?

      1. No, because “Austrian” is his native language.

    2. “snuck” was the original past tense of “sneak”. Its irregular brethren “learnt”, “crept”, etc have already died a gruesome death at the hands of verb regularizers, why rush it on to the same fate?

      It’s more than a bit *ironic* when the linguistic dogmatists start chiding people for using the traditional form of a word instead of the novel, regularized form.

      1. Snuck-ed.

  5. Obama is a con man.

    That’s really all you need to know about him to understand him.

    Everything he says is a calculated lie and/or deliberate misrepresentation designed to make people think he’s doing something other than what he’s actually doing.

    1. I’m lying.

  6. Hey, let me be clear: I never suggested that there were WMD in Iraq! I steadfastly opposed any financial bailout of Wall Street. And who snuck that Medicare prescription drug thing past me??

  7. I wish some Republican had had the balls to stand up and say, “Stop pissing on my shoes and telling me its raining!” Liars need to be called out and shamed on the spot.

    1. I believe Joe Wilson tried that already. Didn’t quite work out, since while lying is permitted in the halls of Congress, stating that someone is lying is not.

  8. Even if you interpret that statement as an aspiration, it is neither realistic nor desirable. As long as politicians and their appointees are making decisions that affect people’s interests, those people will try to influence them.

    It seems to me that Obama’s employing a particular usage of “lobbyist” which is understood to mean “professional lobbyist.” So he’s talking about attempted influence not by people who are directly affected by a particular decision but by people who are hired to influence government.

    I think it should be completely legal to hire lobbyists, or to be hired as one. I’m not convinced that an administration that’s influenced by such people is more desirable than one that has manage to eliminate the influence of such professionals.

  9. 2. “We said from the start it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people [that] if you want to keep the health insurance you’ve got, you can keep it; that you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision-making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.”

    Notice that he is not actually saying that it is important that people get to keep the insurance they have – he is saying that it is important that he be consistent in saying so.
    Obama likes to use large, multi-syllable words and twice the number of words needed, either to appear to be saying something different to what he is actually saying, or to say nothing really at all. It makes him seem erudite and intellectual, and more appealing to the talking heads of the mainstream media and the Left. In essence though, he’s just attempting to baffle everyone with bullshit. And in the case of the former he succeeds quite well, their admiration for his supposed intellectualism being sufficient evidence of their bafflement.

  10. 2. “We said from the start it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people [that] if you want to keep the health insurance you’ve got, you can keep it; . . .”

    Hooray for Weasel Words!

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