White House press conference on health care

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White House press conference on health care

Postby Lumpy » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:58 am UTC

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32092339/ns ... ite_house/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32087532/ns ... ite_house/

During the press conference, Obama became visibly agitated at a question about if his Obama administration still intends to keep its promises of transparency, when they wouldn't even release a list of health care executives that had visited the White House. He replied that they had just the previous afternoon, he had released the list, and in any case, the meetings had been open to the press so it would be considered public information any way. In fact, according to the first article, the list was only divulged in the face of a government lawsuit, and it strips information such as which employee requested the meeting from the details.
This method of question dodging, angrily holding up actions forced by a lawsuit as evidence that you have done right, reminds me of Tony Snow and Dana Perino.

The latter article is frequently pedantic, stating things in the fact check that the President stated himself during the press conference. It extends the first segment twice as long as it needed to be by stating the Republican rebuttal that the restructuring could force the insurance companies to change the insurance that you're happy with in the example, when the question was indeed relevant toward whether the government would be forcing you to buy health insurance and abandon your old plan. I suppose this would be fine if it weren't constrained to being entirely a "fact" section.

With regard to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., yes, he did say he was "arrested for being in his own home." In the story as he retold it before that, though, he was arrested outside his home while trying to get into his home and not having the keys. "Blaming Republicans," is particularly insightful, though, given how many times he kept referring to Bush and the Republican senators.

On the deficit section, I'm glad they finally mentioned the Congressional Budget Office figure of a savings up $200 billion over the next decade, which combines with the other figure of a $245 billion increase in doctors' wages to a net increase in the deficit of only $45 billion. Up until now they have continuously cited an unnamed aide to an unnamed Democratic member of Congress saying it would cost $1.5 trillion, and they tried to pass it off as completely factual without regard to sourcing and context. On the whole, otherwise, it's a good read if you can discern and filter out the sensationalism.

What did you think of the health care conference?

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby NightStar » Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:30 am UTC

I'm not pleased that he and the Democratic leadership are so insistent that this bill be passed before the recess in August. If we're going to completely overhaul the health-care system, why is it such a bad thing to wait a few weeks to carefully go through the bill, various amendments and provisions, etc, and make sure it's being done right? "The Republican lobbyists will pick it apart" is not a valid excuse. You have your own lobbyists, and rushing bad bills through the legislative process is just as bad as killing good bills unnecessarily.

I also enjoyed the media's mention of so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats, who have more reservations about the health-care bill than other Democrats, though still generally in favor. A debate with multiple viewpoints seems to be something of a rarity in Congress anymore, and I'm always glad when people are reminded that there can be more than two sides to an issue.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Lumpy » Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:41 am UTC

He said before mentioning August that he wants it done before the year is over, so the sense I get based on his explanation is that he expects based on the pace in Washington that if you want something done by a time, you set the deadline at half the time really available.

A debate with multiple viewpoints seems to be something of a rarity in Congress anymore


Well, that's not absolutely true with regard to the variety of amendments that get voted up or down before the final bill. More debate probably goes on behind closed doors, where people are wheeling and dealing things they want passed in exchange for other things, such that they feel if they were quoted in the media, it would be like taking a hard stance and becoming vulnerable.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby NightStar » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:04 am UTC

Yeah, everyone has different reasons behind their vote, but I feel that often the public believes that all the voting members are either for a bill or against it, since that's what the vote comes down to. Political ads absolutely perpetrate this all the time; for example, maybe a Senator with a strong gun-advocacy record voted against the recent "concealed-carry across state lines" bill, because they felt it infringed on state's rights. Despite that, their opponents might run attack ads alleging "flip-flopping" and "being weak on gun rights" based on that vote. So when the media actually reports a third group, acting in concert, with ideas different from the usual two, I'm hopeful that people take note.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:58 pm UTC

Lumpy wrote:During the press conference, Obama became visibly agitated ...


I become visibly drowsy!

He takes a very long time to answer questions. Which is unfortunate because in the hour provided, not enough questions get asked. And then his monotone voice coupled with his tendency to say "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand...." and "thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat..." while thinking of what to say next.... it's tough to watch the whole thing. You actually forget what the reporter asked in the first place. This sounds more like a rant.

You can't blame him for wanting to rush the bill because he really does need it politically. And I agree with you guys that things should be done slowly and carefully. Especially something that affects every citizen. But then again, I'm Captain Patience. Just not during pressers.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby SummerGlauFan » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:37 pm UTC

Yeah, he needs to stop rushing stuff like this. Especially something as big as REFORMING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM needs to be extremely, extremely well thought out. I would even say doing it in less than a year would not be enough time to make sure you aren't tragically screwing something up.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby jesseewiak » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

A couple quick notes on the "this is going too fast" idea.

Now, the thing is, if this was some new problem that just came up in the last few years - fine, debate it. But, the truth is, there's been a debate about health care in this country since 1947. Both (or all three sides if you throw in the Corporate Democrats) know the lay of the land. Those in Congress complaining about things 'moving too fast' are either entirely opposed to the idea of health care reform because they're crazy small-government types (Tom Coburn), know actual health care reform will further kill Republicans (most Republicans), or love that money coming in from the health care companies way too much (Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson of the Democrats).

In addition, it's showing many of those who voted for the bailouts as hypocrites. The entire center-right Washington Establishment said we had to immediately hand about $12 trillion over to the financial industry no questions asked - and how that same Washington Establishment attacked progressives for trying to slow things down just a wee bit? I mean, that's even ignoring the fact that 64-years of debate is a "rush."

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

jesseewiak wrote:
The entire center-right Washington Establishment said we had to immediately hand about $12 trillion over to the financial industry


Leaping Lizards it was 12 trillion??? For one industry alone? I hope you're talking pesos.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby EMTP » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:42 pm UTC

The problem with slowing down is twofold; one, a longer dwell time in the legislative sausage factory is not associated with producing better, more thoughtful legislation. Fortunately the current system is so abysmal that all of the bills in Congress represent a substantial improvement. There's things I would like to see that aren't there, but I have little hope that with more time Congress would put them in.

Secondly, bills that lose momentum and hang around for a long while tend to be killed. Pushing it through is easier now, with the public's interest focused on the matter and early in the term, than it will be later.

We're talking about a month to get this done. That's plenty of time.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Where's Bush when you need him, eh? He had a special way of demanding instant action on whatever is was he wanted at the moment -- massive taxes cuts for the rich, some random war, what have you -- that made it seem as if any delay was treasonous sabotage by weak-willed legislators who hate America. No time to talk, no time to question -- give the president what he wants now, or else. If only we could harness that talent for good, instead of evil. Sigh.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Intercept » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

I'd like the debate to take the same amount of time, but I'd like them to skip the august recess.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby NightStar » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

jesseewiak wrote:crazy small-government types (Tom Coburn)
Do you mean to say Tom Coburn is crazy, or small-government types are crazy?
jesseewiak wrote:we had to immediately hand about $12 trillion over to the financial industry no questions asked
The generally quoted figure for the cost of the stimulus bill is $787 billion.
EMTP wrote:We're talking about a month to get this done. That's plenty of time.
A month might be, but Obama and the Democratic leadership originally wanted to have the bill passed on or before August 7, when the Senate recesses until after Labor Day. That's about two weeks.
EMTP wrote:Where's Bush when you need him, eh? He had a special way of demanding instant action on whatever is was he wanted at the moment
Might I point out that the above-mentioned stimulus bill took just over a month to go from introduced bill to enacted law in the Senate, and less than a month in the House? The final version was made public only four days before it was passed. Now that Democrats control the presidency and Congress, they have the ability to do the exact same thing as Bush did, and they already have.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby jesseewiak » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:55 am UTC

You're confusing the stimulus and the bank bailout, buddy.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:03 am UTC

jesseewiak wrote:You're confusing the stimulus and the bank bailout, buddy.


You're saying the financial industry bailout right? At $12 trillion? Or are you talking long term borrowing over the next 10 years? The annual GDP is only around $14 trillion.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby jesseewiak » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:07 am UTC

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... mOzfkwtCA4

By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with the chief executives of the nation’s 12 biggest banks on March 27 at the White House to enlist their support to thaw a 20-month freeze in bank lending.

“The president and Treasury Secretary Geithner have said they will do what it takes,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said after the meeting. “If it is enough, that will be great. If it is not enough, they will have to do more.”

Commitments include a $500 billion line of credit to the FDIC from the government’s coffers that will enable the agency to guarantee as much as $2 trillion worth of debt for participants in the Term Asset-Backed Lending Facility and the Public-Private Investment Program. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair warned that the insurance fund to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up because of bank failures.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Holy cow! There's nothing left for health care then.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Crius » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:12 am UTC

The vast majority of the $12 trillion stated is guaranteeing loans, so it's not money the government is actually spending.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:36 am UTC

Oh. Should have said so earlier. I just traded everything I own for a pile of gold. Arrrrr.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Intercept » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:21 am UTC

Gold's not a bad investment necessarily.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Heavenlytoaster » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:25 am UTC

Gold will be great when they make those $12 trillion loans and people don't pay them back... again.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:31 am UTC

I'm not saying we necessarily have to bog the bill down in endless debates, but for crying out loud, take a significant amount of time to plan and structure the project so that it works well. The August deadline to build such an ambitious project is just too short.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Mr. N » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Intercept wrote:Gold's not a bad investment necessarily.


I know. A friend of mine has a couple gold teeth. Once gold cracks $1200, I'm Rocky Balboa.

Arrr.
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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:41 am UTC

Mr. N wrote:
Intercept wrote:Gold's not a bad investment necessarily.


I know. A friend of mine has a couple gold teeth. Once gold cracks $1200, I'm Rocky Balboa.

Arrr.

Except it's Rocky VII; Rocky comes off his deathbed to once again rejoin the world of boxing. Not even a broken hip will stop this poster child for the AARP. He's got a power scooter from the scooter store and thanks to viagra his penis will never go down again. Jon John Juan (Carrot Top) will face the fight of his life, a one hit first round KO of Rocky Balboa. Will Rocky ever get off the ground? Find out in Rocky VII, coming this fall.

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Re: White House press conference on health care

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:44 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Mr. N wrote:
Intercept wrote:Gold's not a bad investment necessarily.


I know. A friend of mine has a couple gold teeth. Once gold cracks $1200, I'm Rocky Balboa.

Arrr.

Except it's Rocky VII; Rocky comes off his deathbed to once again rejoin the world of boxing. Not even a broken hip will stop this poster child for the AARP. He's got a power scooter from the scooter store and thanks to viagra his penis will never go down again. Jon John Juan (Carrot Top) will face the fight of his life, a one hit first round KO of Rocky Balboa. Will Rocky ever get off the ground? Find out in Rocky VII, coming this fall.

And then in Rocky MCMVII, Rocky finally gets ahold of all the dragonballs and wishes for immortality to stop the evil Majin Buu.


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