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Live Blogging Obama's Health Care Address


President Obama sought Wednesday night to define in the most specific terms yet the elements he considers essential to reform the nation's health care. (Rich Lipski /TWP )


9:10 p.m.
"I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. ... I know that the Bush Administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. I think it's a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today."

This is primarily a sop to Republicans, who have been calling on Obama for weeks to include malpractice reform in his health plan. Numerous independent analyses have shown that malpractice lawsuits contribute a tiny fraction to the cost of health care.

At the same time, a number of hospitals report success with a program called "Sorry Works" that calls on them to admit their mistakes and negotiate with victims to determine just compensation before lawsuits are filed. In 2005, Obama and then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) authored a proposal to offer federal funding to hospitals that adopt the Sorry Works model. By encouraging such experiments, Obama could attract Republican votes while improving the way the system functions -- without annoying the trial lawyers, who are among the most important contributors to Democratic campaigns.
--Lori Montgomery


9:08 p.m.
"There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

Despite many claims to the contrary by opponents of the universal health care proposals, fact-checkers have repeatedly established that the bills' universal coverage provisions would not extend to illegal immigrants. In Section 246 on page 143, the House's bill states that "undocumented aliens" will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance -- and these credits are the provision that lies at the heart of expanding coverage to the uninsured. And Medicaid already is limited to those who can prove legal residency. For that matter, even the universal health care program in Massachusetts -- one of the most liberal states in the country -- does not cover illegal immigrants.

The correctness of Obama's assertion did not keep one member of the House from shouting that it was a "lie." The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray and Chris Cillizza have reported that the shout came from Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican.
--Alec MacGillis


8:50 p.m.
"This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money -- an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long-run."

Obama is embracing one of the primary sources of funding the Senate Finance Committee has proposed for its bipartisan bill. This is significant because Obama has in the past refused to support the idea because he campaigned vigorously against a variant of it during the 2008 presidential election.

In essence, the proposal to fine insurance companies for selling high-cost insurance plans amounts to a tax on the most generous employer-provided policies in America. Many of those policies are held by union workers, who helped Obama win the election last year. But many are held by workers with the highest incomes, and the benefit is currently tax free.

Taxing all employer-provided insurance benefits would generate huge sums of cash for the federal government. The tax-free treatment of employer benefits is the single biggest loophole in the federal tax code. But lawmakers and Obama are not willing to go that far. Instead, they have settled on a plan to fine insurance companies for selling policies that cost more than $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for families -- a move that virtually ensures such policies will disappear.

So, in the end, workers would pay for this change -- at least at first. But many economists hope that the funds employers no longer spend on gold-plated health plans would be shifted out of the bloated health care system and into workers' wages -- a move that would improve the nation's economic stability in the long run.
--Lori Montgomery

8:57 p.m.
Some Republican members in the House chamber could be seen holding up pieces of paper, a highly unusual demonstration during a presidential address. At least one lawmaker -- Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) -- could be seen holding up a copy of H.R. 1086, a Republican health-care reform proposal offered by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.). The measure currently has 51 cosponsors, and Republicans clearly want to combat the charge made by many Democrats that they have opposed Obama's plan without offering one of their own.
-- Ben Pershing


8:54 p.m.
"There are now more than thirty million American citizens who cannot get coverage."

This is a shift in the terms Obama uses to address the problem of the uninsured. He and other reform proponents have in the past talked about the 46 million or so uninsured, a Census-based number that many reform opponents have called overstated. Among other things, opponents have argued that a large chunk of the uninsured are illegal immigrants, who, as Obama emphasized again tonight, would not be covered under universal health care.

But in a seeming concession to the rhetoric around illegal immigrants, Obama tonight narrowed the uninsured who would be helped by the insurance to 30 million citizens. That is roughly in line with expert estimates of the number of citizens without insurance; experts estimate that there are about 9.7 million non-citizen uninsured, including about six million illegal immigrants.

Obama's "citizen" framing does raise the question of whether he intends his plan to cover legal immigrants who are not citizens. Until this point, he and congressional leaders had given no indication that their plans would not cover legal immigrants. But in Massachusetts, budget troubles have forced lawmakers to trim back the benefits offered to legal immigrants under the state's universal health care program.
--Alec MacGillis


8:48 p.m.
"The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies - subsidies that do everything to pad their profits and nothing to improve your care. And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead. "

This is, at best, wishful thinking. Many of the proposed reductions in future Medicare spending would require hospitals and other providers to come up with ways to cover the savings. In theory, this could be accomplished by eliminating the vast quantities of waste and abuse that permeate the health care system. But some analysts fear that it could affect the quality of care. No one really knows how the cuts would affect the system.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are proposing a number of very specific reforms to improve the quality of care while reducing the number of procedures performed. The president's independent commission proposes to expand those reforms where they work and end them when they don't. Many health care experts view this as a promising route to cut costs without harming care to the millions of senior citizens who rely on Medicare.

In any case, the reductions proposed hardly constitute a slashing of Medicare spending, as some Republicans have charged. The nation already spends more than $400 billion a year on Medicare, and that figure is growing rapidly. Lawmakers are considering cuts that would reduce spending by $400 billion to $500 billion over the next 10 years.
-- Lori Montgomery


8:46 p.m.
"First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits - either now or in the future. Period."

While Republicans quickly attacked this statement, many lawmakers in both parties have hope that the Senate Finance Committee will produce a plan that does indeed save the government money now and in the long run.

The House has proposed a plan that would increase the deficit by $240 billion over the next decade. The Senate health committee has a plan that would increase the deficit by $600 billion over the next decade. But Senate Finance has vowed that its plan will be paid for, and lawmakers say they have received a seal of approval from the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO has yet to release a public estimate of the Baucus plan, however, and until that estimate is public Republicans are correct in asserting that none of the Democratic proposals would lower the deficit over the next decade or over the long term.
-- Lori Montgomery


8:46 p.m.
"It's worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I've proposed tonight. But its impact shouldn't be exaggerated - by the left, the right, or the media. It is only one part of my plan, and should not be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles. ... The public option is only a means to that end - and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal."

Obama's rhetoric on the public-insurance option -- that he favors it and wants it, but won't demand it, "and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal" -- sounds remarkably similar to that used Tuesday by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), whose comments on the subject caused some consternation among House liberals.

Hoyer's basic point, which he had made before, was that he supported the public option but it was not indispensable. The White House has long signaled that Obama feels the same way, and he reiterated that tonight. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, has been more vocal in her support for the public option. But while she has said the House's initial health-care bill must have a strong public option, she's never quite vowed the same about a conference report. If push comes to shove, the House Democratic leadership will ultimately back a final bill without a public option. But what about the rest of the caucus?
- Ben Pershing


8:45 p.m.
"One more misunderstanding I want to clear up - under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place. "

Reform opponents have talked a lot about how universal coverage will result in taxpayer dollars going to pay for abortions. This is not supposed to be allowed under the so-called Hyde amendment, which bans Medicaid from covering abortions except in the case of rape or incest. The reform proposals initially skirted the question of abortion coverage; in response to opponents' attacks, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) proposed an amendment that would require that at least one plan on the new "exchange" would not include abortion coverage, and that another one would include it, to give people choices.

But this leaves the thorny question of what to do in the case of people buying insurance with the help of federal subsidies - if those plans cover abortions (as many plans to) aren't the federal subsidies for those plans indirectly going to pay for abortions? Capps' amendment proposes that insurers offering abortion coverage -- including the a government-run plan, if such a thing is offered on the exchange -- pay for abortions with funds that are separate from the federal subsidies. But abortion rights opponents argue that this is little more than a shell game.
--Alec MacGillis


8:43 p.m.
"In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill. This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign, it's a good idea now, and we should embrace it. "

By embracing high-risk pools as a temporary solution to the problem of hard-to-insure people, Obama made an implicit nod to his general election opponent, McCain, who made such pools a central part of his health reform plan. McCain's idea was to greatly expand the high-risk pools that are now used in 34 states to insure some of the people who are unable to buy coverage on the open market because of their pre-existing conditions. This was part of his overall plan to move away from employer-based insurance to a system where everyone buys their own coverage on the open market.

But an in-depth article by the Washington Post's Amy Goldstein last year found that these high-risk pools have mixed results. They have proved so expensive to maintain that they hold only about 200,000 people, combined. The Maryland Health Insurance Plan, for instance has "been growing so fast that it needed to raise the fees on hospitals that help pay for the program and require new members to wait longer for coverage of existing illnesses -- or pay extra for it." Even the director of the Minnesota pool, widely regarded as the most successful in the country, told Goldstein that the pools are a stop-gap at best. "It is not a panacea. . . . We need to be moving in the direction of universal coverage," he said, "No one should be rejected because of their health conditions. Our federal government has failed us . . . if we are still here in five or 10 years."

Of course, what Obama is proposing here is that the pools would serve as nothing more than a stopgap, until the 2013 debut of the new "exchange" where uninsured people would be able to buy coverage from insurers who would not be allowed to deny coverage for preexisting conditions.
--Alec MacGillis


8:36 p.m.
"Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers."

This statement sidesteps a brewing battle over the role of employers. In the House, lawmakers would require firms to offer their workers health care or pay a penalty of as much as 8 percent of their total payroll. In the Senate, where Democrats are trying attract Republican support, the Finance Committee has proposed a "free-rider" provision that would not force firms to offer health coverage at all.

Instead, under the Senate Finance plan, larger firms with more than 50 full-time employees would only have to pay if they hire people who are eligible for government subsidies. In the case of the Senate Finance Committee, that includes people who earn between 133 percent of the federal poverty level and 400 percent of the poverty level, or about $88,000 a year for a family of four. Liberal analysts fear that idea would give many firms a huge incentive to refuse to hire lower-income workers or to bypass people who do not have coverage through their spouses or other means.

Obama's remarks leave the door open to either option - and leaves Congress to haggle over a hugely contentious issue.
-- Lori Montgomery


8:39 p.m.
"This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money."

The tax the president endorsed on insurers that issue Cadillac policies has built-in complications. It would encourage insurers to sell -- and employers to offer -- less Cadillac coverage.

To the extent that it reduces Cadillac coverage, as supporters intend, the revenue from the tax could diminish.

In theory, employers could compensate for the reduction in health benefits by paying employees higher wages and salaries. That could boost income tax receipts, because unlike health benefits, cash pay is taxed by the federal government.

However, whether employers will raise salaries to offset reductions in health benefits is a matter of debate - especially at a time when high unemployment has left workers in a weak bargaining position.

Economist Allen Sinai of Decision Economics called the tax "misplaced, misguided economic policy," saying that employers would capture the savings and would not make workers whole.

"They won't pay out the savings to employees in the form of higher wages," Sinai said. "They will take them in profit and the shareholder will benefit through higher stock prices."

If the skeptics are right, employees who now have the richest benefits could end up as net losers under the tax, and revenues from the tax could suffer.
--David S. Hilzenrath

8:36 p.m.
"First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have. "

The Washington Post's David Hilzenrath and many others have in recent months questioned Obama's oft-stated claim that if people like their insurance, they won't have to change it after reform. "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period," he liked to say. Obama has retained that basic notion, but possibly in response to those criticisms, he has slightly tweaked his claim here tonight to say that reform will not "require" people or companies to change their plans. This is a subtle but crucial shift that puts the president on slightly firmer ground, though its broader implication is still a bit misleading.

The fact is, there are several likely scenarios under which some people who are now insured will find themselves with different coverage - possibly better coverage, but still, different coverage. For one thing, small businesses who now pay exorbitantly for coverage will be able to buy coverage for their employees on a new "exchange" that will be available only to small businesses and individuals without employer insurance. The plans on the exchange will be more strongly-regulated and and may be of a higher quality than what employers can afford now, but they will be different plans.

In addition, Obama is signaling that he would endorse the proposal by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus to impose an excise tax on the most expensive health insurance plans. This will likely lead many insurers and employers to stop offering such plans, leading employees to get less costly plans instead. Still other employers might feel better about doing away with health coverage after reform is passed if they know that their employees can get good coverage on the new exchange -- even if the employer has to pay a fine as a result. The CEO of Whole Foods has threatened to do just that.

But in all three cases - small businesses switching insurers, companies choosing to stop offering gold-plated plans, employers deciding to drop coverage - the reforms will not be "requiring" the switch; it will be in employers' interest to do so. Thus Obama's rhetorical sleight of hand - his promise is slightly less definitive, and slightly more accurate.

Post Fact Check: President's Coverage Promise Is No Keeper, The Washington Post, 8/16/09

--Alec MacGillis


8:30 p.m.
"The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals: It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government."

This framing is a clear departure from the way Obama laid out his reform vision months ago. All along, he talked about health care in a two-pronged way - it would expand coverage to the uninsured and slow the growth of overall health care costs in the long term. To broaden support for reform, the White House has more recently been emphasizing the benefits that will accrue to people who already have coverage. Still, reform proponents on the outside thought that case was not being made strongly enough, and urged Obama to emphasize the "security" of having insurance available even if one loses one's job - an effective argument to make in a time of very high unemployment. Finally, in his Labor Day speech in Cincinnati on Monday, Obama debuted the "security and stability" framing. And here it is again tonight.
--Alec MacGillis


8:27 p.m.
"Our overall efforts have been supported by an unprecedented coalition of doctors and nurses; hospitals, seniors' groups and even drug companies - many of whom opposed reform in the past. "

Note who's absent from this list of cooperative industry players: the insurance companies. As the whole health reform push started earlier this year, the White House and congressional leaders touted the fact that they were getting buy-in from big insurance companies, who were showing signs of being willing to accept new regulations in exchange for having millions of new customers to insure. But in August, as the reform push started to bog down, Obama and congressional leaders - most vocally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - started trying to reinvigorate reform by framing it as an effort to rein in unpopular insurance company practices. This hasn't been enough to push the industry into full-fledged opposition - yet. But it's got the insurers off of the cooperative list.

What's also notable is that Obama put special emphasis on support from drug companies. This support has come at a cost - the White House has hinted to drug companies that they will be asked to contribute no more than $80 billion over 10 years in concessions, and that it will not push for reforms that the industry strongly opposes, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices. Liberals such as House committee chairman Henry Waxman have criticized this deal, yet here's Obama, putting special weight on the drug company support.
--Alec MacGillis


8:22 p.m.
In noting that many presidents before him have tried unsuccessfully to reform health care, Obama not only underscores the importance of the issue; he also insulates himself from some of the criticism should his own effort fail.

In addition, he undercuts arguments that he and Congress are moving too swiftly.

"I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," Obama said. "It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way. A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943. Sixty-five years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.

"Our collective failure to meet this challenge - year after year, decade after decade - has led us to a breaking point," Obama said.
--David S. Hilzenrath


8:18 p.m.
"Thanks to the bold and decisive action we have taken since January, I can stand here with confidence and say that we have pulled this economy back from the brink."

Many economists would largely agree with this statement. Both through Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's management of the $700 billion financial system bailout (which was passed during the Bush administration) and Obama's successful push for a massive $787 billion economic stimulus package, the administration contributed significantly to what is believed to be a slowly dawning economic recovery. In its recent economic outlook, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office credited the stimulus package with returning the economy to positive growth by the end of the year.

The unexpected severity of the recession has taken its toll, however, and the stimulus package is expected to cost significantly more than $787 billion when all is said and done. Republicans predict the package of tax breaks and government spending will top out at $900 billion. White House budget director Peter Orszag has said the administration's current predictions are that the cost will be slightly below that.
-- Lori Montgomery


7:35 p.m.

President Obama takes the podium on Capitol Hill tonight for his much-anticipated address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress. Washington Post reporters who have been covering the debate will be your guides to the action, offering live analysis and fact-checking starting at 8 p.m.

By Paul Volpe  |  September 9, 2009; 8:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Victoria Kennedy a Guest of First Lady
Next: Edith Childs Tips Her Hat to the President

Comments

I'm on Medicare;no doctors will take it;I'm in a wheelchair,and can't get treatment,no orthopedists will take Medicare.They all want expensive private insurance.There is no way this healthcare bill,will help my Medicare!NO way!I have no healthcare insurance NOW!!So,thanks very much,Washington DC,and Mr.President,instead of helping me get treatment,you're getting more "Medicare"for the nation,so everyone will be in wheelchairs,unable to get treatment,just like me.You really want that?You want to help healthcare?Get me an orthopedist who takes Medicare,so I might be able to walk again!--bigbluee90,in Eugene,Oregon,97404, River Rd.

Posted by: bigbluee90 | September 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If Obama had the "magic wand" to cut $900 billion in waste from Medicare/Medicaid, why hasn't he done it???

That money (if it actually existed!) could be used to bail out unfunded Medicare liabilities rather than funding ANOTHER government entitlement program destined for bankruptcy.

Posted by: LauraInNevada | September 11, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the good old days with sayings like fight them over there or fight them over here, and Cheny, anyone who criticizes the president is not a patriot.
Oh I miss the good ole days.

Posted by: jg11231 | September 10, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Makes me sad to see how people are thinking nothing about spending my grandchildren's money. They will never see a Nation like we have. They will pay for it. and where is the money going? Acorn is buying homes for people to run a house of prostitution in, the girl who exposed them filmed them telling her how to lie on the form. The ex Van Jones had millions to choose his green projects. I do not want my tax money used like this. SPEAK UP PEOPLE. Please don't be fooled will smooth talking politions. Think for yourself.

Posted by: paulann1 | September 10, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I was told that the Health Care reform would not go into affect until 2013, so why the rush? I think we need to really be sure, it is not like we can cancell this bill. Also this thing about everyone being entitled to health care...don't we have medicare for the old and medicade for the poor? and the inbetween....my parents said that I should work for mine. Are we going to make people think that the gov. owes them everything and just "not work?" I mean why work if the gov. is going to support me? look I can already get free day care, free food, low rent. and Acorn is getting us homes now. I think we are teaching our children to vote for the man who will give us more. I think our tax money should not be spent the ways that is is now. Look at Van Jones...he had millions at his finger tips. This money being spent is money our great great grandchildren will have to pay back and it is being abused. I believe Obama when he said that he would veto pork spending...now I keep hearing Charles Krauthammer saying "don't listen to what Obama says' ....watch what he does".

Posted by: paulann1 | September 10, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama is NOT a "Natural Born" citizen:

http://puzo1.blogspot.com/
The Natural Born Citizen Clause Requires that Both of the Child’s Parents Be U.S. Citizens At the Time of Birth.

Posted by: jy22077 | September 10, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmfQkjZ-1hc
The Obama Birth Certificate Case Calif 2009

Posted by: jy22077 | September 10, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZgHEGP5Y78
Obama, the REAL KENYAN Birth Certificate, finally 2
Obama was born in Kenya. However, his birth was registered as being born in Hawaii - Hence the Vital Record in Obama's COLB is based and the Birth Announcement. The Laws in 1961 allowed this be easily done.
Obama's days are Numbered:
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=109242
Shocker! Judge orders trial on eligibility issue

Posted by: jy22077 | September 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

asmith1:

Exactly! That's not the only thing that pResident Obama WAS lying about:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090910/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_health_care_fact_check

Posted by: JakeD | September 10, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

There are two players in this game; the American public and the private, for profit, medical insurance industry. The fight is clear. The American health care system is being bankrupted by the billions of dollars made off of healthcare providers, hospitals and the public by the medical insurance giants. The medical insurance industry is fighting to keep their profits. The public is fighting to save healthcare. The power of this industry is tremendous. What other companies continue to prosper while overcharging for a service they work so hard to avoid providing? Only companies that write the laws and have eliminated competition. The power of this industry is obvious by how difficult it is for the President and Congress to stay on the side of the public. And how the public has been infused with fear and has been encouraged to infight about irrelevant topics.

Posted by: Rebecca14 | September 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

While the health care legislation under debate specifically states that only US citizens are eligible for health care coverage it does NOT include provisions for verifying the citizenship of an individual seeking that care, creating a huge loop hole (inadvertently or intentionally).

"For that matter, even the universal health care program in Massachusetts -- one of the most liberal states in the country -- does not cover illegal immigrants. "

Yet Massachusetts approved government funded housing for Obama's distant aunt who was confirmed an illegal alien and currently awaiting her deportation hearing.

If Massachusetts laws are so lax that it offers government housing to illegal aliens (obviously not verifying legal status), why would it be remiss to presume illegal aliens also avail themselves of other services our President says they DO NOT receive - such as health care?

Obama confirms that illegal aliens will not receive tax credits or government subsidies to buy insurance as outlined in the Bills.

He does not however confirm that illegal aliens will not be enrolled in government programs intended for the indigent, as they are now.

He does not confirm that hospitals and emergency room medical staff will be empowered to turn away illegal aliens who seek free non-emergency care, as they are now.

He does not confirm that illegal aliens will be required to buy health insurance or be fined, as required of Americans and legal immigrants.

So how will illegal aliens receive health care? May we presume pregnant illegal aliens will be denied pre-natal health care through the government and told to pay for it or do without?

May we presume pregnant illegal aliens will be referred to private birthing for non-emergency delivery of their babies, rather than accepted at local hospitals that are then reimbursed by states and federal government for the free health care provided?


According to Obama, illegal aliens are not eligible to apply for any reform benefits and services in accordance with existing laws, even for their American born children. Yet illegal aliens are designated recipients of a plethora of benefits funds for their American born children, without even so much as verification of their legal status, and there are no provisions in Obama's plan to take steps to prevent further fraud.


Laws are in place to prevent illegal aliens from accessing free health care now – they don’t work, and there is nothing in the reform bill to prevent further fraud – such as E-Verify - for all applications, and a requirement that only legally residents may apply for benefits for American born children, born to illegal aliens.


If Obama is not aware this is going on, then he is no position to call Republicans liars for pointing it out. If he is aware of it, then we need to start looking for the back door (loop hole), because is the one thing that will be carefully hidden in his plan.

Posted by: asmith1 | September 10, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that the Post was on the White House payroll. Thanks for clearing that up. I can now cancel my subsciption

Posted by: liberalview21 | September 10, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Sorry your fact check on tort reform is false. Defensive medicine is a huge waste of money and a major contributor to the 1/3 waste in the two trillion dollar industry. The CBO reports it could bring the percentage that doctors pay for insurance down from 2% to 1% or 1.5%, sounds small until you do the math; that is billions of dollars a year.

It would be better to treat true negligence such as doctors working drunk as a crime instead of a lotto ticket.

Posted by: flonzy3 | September 10, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

"

OldAtlantic, don't forget that it was Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu (NOT the family) that directly supplied Barack Obama's vital statistics birth information to the Sunday Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers, which ran the announcement in their August 13 and August 14, 1961, editions, respectively.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:34 PM "

There has never been a statement the hospitals provide a list directly to the papers.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 10, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

While the health care legislation under debate specifically states that only US citizens are eligible for health care coverage it does NOT include provisions for verifying the citizenship of an individual seeking that care.

Posted by: Eddo1 | September 10, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

My history as a civil rights activist back in the 1960s, the fact that my choice for POTUS was Condi Rice, plus Alan Keyes is a follower of my blog “The Steady Drip” all make me immune to accusations of racism.

I have a PhD, and I am in private practice as a psychotherapist, so more than likely I am not crazy.

I am a life time member of Mensa, so I am not stupid. Membership # 1061487

The guiding principles for my professional research for articles and the books I write are the usual protocols of epistemology, scientific methodology, the rules of logic and the rules of evidence.

I am exempt from the “far right” label. I have been an Independent for years. My life time voting record: Johnson - Humphrey - McGovern - Carter - Anderson - Mondale - write in Sam Sewell (yep. I was so disgusted I voted for myself in '88 - Perot -Perot - Nader - and finally in 2004 Bush. So my voting record is Democratic and Independent. Bush is the first Republican I have ever voted for.

However, I am firmly convinced that AKA Obama is not eligible to be POTUS.

Somehow, you know its coming. That OMG moment is just around the corner. You can feel the inescapable reality creeping up on you. Something will leak. Someone will spill the beans.

“For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17

Obama “I have nothing to hide but I’m hiding it.”

http://thesteadydrip.blogspot.com/2009/04/aka-obama-fans-all-together-now-say-omg.html

Posted by: AristotleTheHun | September 10, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Can you pass the:
Obama Eligibility Logic Test?
http://thesteadydrip.blogspot.com/2009/09/obama-eligibility-logic-test.html

Posted by: AristotleTheHun | September 10, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

To onifadee -- His birth certificate isn't nonsense, and it is relevant here. If Obama is not qualified to be President, under the Constitution, his opinions in the health care debate are meaningless. His qualification needs to be settled first, before any major legislation like health care. It could be done very quickly, if he would follow though with his promise of "transparency". Unfortunately he has demonstrated that to be a complete lie by hiding virtually his entire history. That is why it appears to be a serious issue, and could be an unprecedented Constitutional crisis. Health care can wait.

Posted by: seebelow | September 10, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the "noise" of superficial tactics and rhetorics by his opponents, I'm amazing to see a President of courage and resolve, and willing to put his self on the line to tackle an issue that is ailing so many people.

It's healthcare REFORM, not re-adjustment or compromise, and most of all "keep everyone happy." I can only hope that he can muster the support quickly, decisively and wisely without too much sacrifice.

Posted by: De_observer | September 10, 2009 4:26 AM | Report abuse

It is sad to see the manner in which the President of the United States is treated by his fellow citizens. The behavior of Rep. Wilson was absolutely appalling as were the members of Congress carrying those signs. It is a tragedy that the right-wing does not want to accept the fact that the country has elected a black man to the highest office in the land, and have tried from the time the elections were barely over to discredit him in every way they can.

Posted by: Smileyhari | September 10, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

ugh, yet another example of the wackos commandeering the debate and talking about nonsense. how is any of this birth certificate stuff relevant to the article. WP needs to start moderating some of these discussions.

Posted by: onifadee | September 10, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

blah blah blah

If he can save $500 billion on Medicare waste and fraud, why hasn't he? That's his job already! Why hasn't he been doing the job he was hired for?

I’ll believe new promises AFTER they keep some old promises.

Watch this video about his past health-care promises. You’ll see obama lie like a dog in his very own words.
...................................................................
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3JKDTBOYKg
..................................................................
JUST SAY NO TO obamaCARE!!!

Say yes to, "Where's the Birth Certificate."

Posted by: steveb777 | September 10, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not interested in *anything* Mr Obama has to say about health care until he releases the original hospital birth document that shows his actual place of birth. No, not the computer database printout promoted ad nauseum by his syncophantic fans, but the real thing -- the hospital record signed by the doctor that shows his true birthplace.

And he could do this in an instant. Instead he is shoveling away your tax money, and his campaign money, to keep it hidden. Even during his speech he had Department of Justice attorneys on your tax payroll fighting to suppress these records.

Don't you think it must be very, very important to him to go to all this trouble to keep you from ever seeing it?

If Obama shows he did not lie his way into the Presidency, then he can receive the proper respect of his office. Until then he is an empty suit, and perhaps a usurper. Until then his opinions on health care, and anything else, mean nothing to me and a lot of other Americans.

Posted by: seebelow | September 10, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Nosy
Birthers, could you describe how one traveled from Honolulu to a Kenyan village in 1961?

No reply? Looks like I stumped the band! Guess they've had to go back to their mother-ship to obtain a scenario for this poser.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

The burden of proof is on the birthers re the following:

Birthers, could you describe how one traveled from Honolulu to a Kenyan village in 1961? What were the flights like, how often did they run, how many stops were there and where, how many connections and layovers were involved and where, which airlines, what makes and models of airplanes were employed? Where are the passport and visa documentation of the trip? How long did it then take to travel from Nairobi to the village, and by what means of transportation? Where are the eyewitnesses to the trip you claim occurred? Not a one, you say? Oopsies.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

How do you know he wasn't born on the Moon? Why do you believe a Kenyan village woman who gave an answer to a mistranslated question, then reversed her answer when the question was re-asked correctly, is a more reliable source than Kapi'olani Hospital and the State of Hawaii vital records? Only plausible answer is because you want to believe this. But the birth certificate that Barack Obama has already provided is a legal record that proves his citizenship.

Give it up. You'll never win this. Ever. And the longer you go on, the more foolish you make others realize you are.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Birthers, could you describe how one traveled from Honolulu to a Kenyan village in 1961? What were the flights like, how often did they run, how many stops were there and where
-------------------

our points exactly.
that is why he needs to come clean.
DO YOU EVEN KNOW THAT HE WAS REALLY BORN IN 1961? i could make the case he looks older.

but that aside :-), did it ever occur to you that he might have been born in Canada?

but that aside:-) HE WAS BORN IN MOMBASA just like his grandmother said he was.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

"...Why doesn't Mr. Obama give us real jobs that people can wrap their arms around... "
================

$700 billion of stimulus STILL sitting in bank.
= he gives Brazil A WHOPPING TWO BILLION so that THEY can drill off their shores while denying such jobs and energy assurance to our own people.

= instead of giving money to americans to develope a battery for new cars or encourage training by creating a base here he gives a whopping 2.9 BILLION to european companies - - thereby PUTTING JOBS IN THEIR BACKYARDS instead of here.

= and how about the 200 MILLION he gave to the tiny island of Paulo just to take 13 GITMO prisoners?

in my opinion, obama is doing whatever he can to diminish the standing of american in the world by breaking her financially. he WANTS american citizens to experience real poverty.

he has done everything that diminishes the defense of this country.

proving he is not eligible by means of citizenery is just one means of getting him out of office for reasons harmful to this country. otherwise he needs to be imeached on his handling of american dollars. it is a disgrace that americans are going without while obama makes life easy for prisoners against the u.s. and for other countries abroad.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Birthers, could you describe how one traveled from Honolulu to a Kenyan village in 1961? What were the flights like, how often did they run, how many stops were there and where, how many connections and layovers were involved and where, what makes and models of airplanes were employed? Where are the passport and visa documentation of the trip? How long did it then take to travel from Nairobi to the village, and by what means of transportation? Where are the eyewitnesses to the trip you claim occurred? Not a one, you say? Oopsies.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

The only question that remains is, what will you do once health insurance reform is signed into law?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, birthers. While you're trying to suck all the oxygen out of the room with your wackadoodle birth certificate conspiracy theories, health insurance reform will pass (even if hardly any Republicans vote for it). Time marches on, bells can't be unrung.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama is once more doing his soft shoe dance and theatrics - hopefully Americans realize that we don't have a leader or administrator leading us.

This is a dangerous man with the backing of many of his special interest groups along with the unions - he is all powerful!

The sad thing is - we all know this new healthcare reform will end up costing Americans a lot of aggrivation and money.

Why doesn't Mr. Obama give us real jobs that people can wrap their arms around. Fathers and mothers can't support a family on these minimum wage jobs that he brags about.

The homeowners received a bleeding bandage - no real help at all. These loan modifications are a farce.

This is the person who told all of us that we'd have absolute transparency in government (that's a laugh.)

He would cut out all earmarks and guess what our stiumulus package is loaded with...

Didn't I hear him say the government would be down-sized, no way Hosea, in fact it's growing as we speak.

We don't want to take on anything else that Obama throws at us at this time; we want jobs, homeowner protection, remove the "Cap and Trade", return the new jets Washington just had to have.

We want a leader not a "robot" who's controlled by all of these special interest groups.

As ALways, Annie

Posted by: annie21 | September 10, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

question remains:

if obama has an authentic U.S., as in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA birth certificate, then why is he paying off lawyers who are still using the argument, "he has not harmed anyone by not producing..."

thank goodness that is not good enough for the rest of us.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The burden of proof is on the birthers to disprove the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.

Not a joke.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

ChooseBestCandidate
the woman who "claimed" as you put it that obama was born in Mombasa was aked by a respected member of the Clergy who spoke her dialect perfectly.

Source? (And no, not some birther website, but objective reporting).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The burden of proof is on the birthers to disprove the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate. But they can't, so they throw temper tantrums instead: "Wah-wah-wah! He can't be MY President."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker

======
that's a joke, right?
if obama hides behind "he hasnt harmed anyone by not producing the certificate," as his lawyers continue to claim, like you cant figure that out?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

ChooseBestCandidate, no matter how often you repeat a lie, it's still a lie. Give it up.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I reiterate:

1. Complainant (birther with legal standing in court) asserts complaint.
2. Respondent (Obama) supplies evidence refuting complaint.
3. Burden of proof is on Complainant to discredit Respondent's evidence by the preponderance-of-evidence (i.e >50%) standard.

The burden of proof is on birthers to disprove the authenticity Obama's proffered birth certificate. But they can't. So case closed.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

the woman who "claimed" as you put it that obama was born in Mombasa was aked by a respected member of the Clergy who spoke her dialect perfectly.

He not only asked it once, but three times to confirm it.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse


you say the hospital sent it.
but world net daily has personally been in touch with the hospital and they reported that the hospital denied it. SO WHERE'S YOUR PROOF OF THE HOSPITAL SAYING THAT THEY GAVE IT TO THE NEWSPAPER?


Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The burden of proof is on the birthers to disprove the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate. But they can't, so they throw temper tantrums instead: "Wah-wah-wah! He can't be MY President."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

what's on that birth certificate that scares the living daylights out of obama?

why pay thousands of dollars to keep the birth certificate out of the public's eyes when he put one on THE INTERNET FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE, but when it comes to the tangible copy somehow he has a problem producing that physical copy?

who does obama think he's fooling?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

The woman who CLAIMED Obama was born in Kenya was asked an incorrectly interpreted question. When it was re-asked correctly she said No, Barack Obama Jr. was NOT born in Kenya, it was some other son of Barack Obama Sr. End of confusion.

Besides, given the arduousness, length of time required and great expense of international travel from Honolulu to a village in Kenya back in 1961, how could a heavily pregnant young white woman have made that journey unnoticed? Not to mention traveling back to Hawaii within days of giving birth, if the birther hypothesis were true. Not a single RELIABLE eyewitness has ever been produced to vouch having seen Mrs. Obama en route in either direction, nor has any documentation (tickets, visas, passport stamps, etc.) to prove such travel ever been found. It just didn't happen, but no amount of proof will ever satisfy those who don't want to accept that Obama was elected by both popular and Electoral College vote.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 10, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

.... and why is his YouTube page listing his age at 54?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse


You see what happens when you try to explain the facts to birthers? They just make up new accusations.
===============

talk is cheap.
where's your proof to prove otherwise?
its that simple.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 10, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

obama's grandmother whom he lived with while in Kenya said she was present in the hospital the night he was born in Mombasa.

she has correctly discussed many other things so i doubt she simply got this one thing wrong wrong? and strategically obama has avoided being in her presence ever since. is he afraid she will bring it up in the presence of reporters?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

You see what happens when you try to explain the facts to birthers? They just make up new accusations. Nothing will EVER satisfy them, every piece of evidence in the world will be challenged, because they Just.Can't.Accept.Obama.As.President.

It's they're problem, not ours.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

You're wrong. The Health Department got it from the hospital. Not from the parents.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

it was not the hospital.
the information was given to the newspapers who have confirmed they got it from the Health Department.

the Health Department do not DELIVER babies. but they do take information from parents who give them verbal information.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

George Bush, John McCain WHERE ARE YOU???

Obama just scuttled his obamacare with all of his transpositions of what he's been saying for months and mentioned each of you as having good ideas.

Send in your reports immediate and please analyze what the dickens he meant when he kept saying "subsidies" for those who cannot afford insurance since Senator Baucus said a public option was a bad idea.

All that's missing besides your reports telling him what to do are COSTS, COSTS, COSTS in numbers with dollar signs and decimal points, and those commas.

If that guy had only had some sketchy details to give Congress for that health reform, the muddle wouldn't be a muddle - or I wonder if he ever thought of doing it himself and just presented it to Congress for suggestions/tweaking.

One thing is certain: that between Clinton's law of 1994 which does not require employers with less than 50 employees to offer health benefits, and now the recent one in that obamacare that does not require employers who have less than $500,000 per year income to offer benefits, it is even more urgent that someone decipher what he means by "subsidies" for employees to get insurance.

We better wait for the CBO report and maybe they know what Obama means by that little sneaky word "subsidies" since government-run health coverage is supposed to be in Senator Baucus's File 13 ready to go to the dump.

Posted by: eliza4 | September 9, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

are you at comfort hiding behind technicality?

HOW ABOUT THE FACT A MAN WHO CLAIMS TO BE YOUR PRESIDENT GOT AWAY WITH A BLANTENT LIE? just because no one has been able to force him to produce that birth certificate so far does not mean he is right in not producing it.

is that the kind of person you are happy with pointing to as an example to look up to and aspire to be?

do you remember that obama tried a fake shortform hoping many people would think that IS all that was required to prove his birth? that in itself is deceit? WHY WOULD YOU SETTLE FOR THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA THAT WAY?

we elect LEADERS! but somehow this one slipped in because so many of you bent the rules just for him.

well its not good enough and by Court Order if necessary obama's birth certificate will be exposed. he is living a LIE!

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

If I wanted to cover illegal aliens in the Health Care Exchange I wouldn't write that into the law (that would never pass) ... instead I would make the process of proving citizenship as lax as possible that way illegals could slip in without notice.

What checks are there for citizenship in Obamas plan? What will be in the final plan?

Have you checked, do you care, do you really think they would write into law that they want to provide healthcare to illegal aliens?

Do you ever think for yourself or do you just repeat the Whitehouse talking points.

Posted by: cautious | September 9, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic, don't forget that it was Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu (NOT the family) that directly supplied Barack Obama's vital statistics birth information to the Sunday Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers, which ran the announcement in their August 13 and August 14, 1961, editions, respectively.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic
Did he apply to Occidental or Columbia as a dual national citizen?

What evidence do you have that he didn't? The burden of proof's on YOU.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

why is washington justice asking CA Courts not to hear obama eligibility case? isnt this illegal?

however Judge Carter in CA will hear the case but this attempt from washington was wrong. that is not justice. we bring things to higher courts. Not try to shut down a case in another jurisdiction?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic, how many times must it repeated? The burden of proof re the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate resides with those who challenge it, namely you and your fellow birthers. He's fulfilled step 2 in the prima facie case, namely producing his standard birth certificate. Just because you howl doesn't mean he has to do more. He's as protected by the law as you'd be.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:16 PM

Hawaii has not even confirmed that COLB. Hawaii doesn't decide what is required to prove Natural Born Citizen.

What Hospital was he born at? What doctor signed his birth certificate? Why won't he disclose it? Did he apply to Occidental or Columbia as a dual national citizen?

Judge David Carter has ordered a hearing for Oct 5 2009 to discuss discovery.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19547072/03118728478

Why doesn't WaPo report that? Or CNN?

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a scumbag liar. He and his zombies can take their desire for socialism and leave.

They can move to Canada or France or one other of their socialist paradises where they will feel more comfortable.

Freedom-loving people will make their stand here and you zombies won't like it when that happens.

Posted by: bug45 | September 9, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic, how many times must it repeated? The burden of proof re the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate resides with those who challenge it, namely you and your fellow birthers. He's fulfilled step 2 in the prima facie case, namely producing his standard birth certificate. Just because you howl doesn't mean he has to do more. He's as protected by the law as you'd be.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Congress is controlled by Democrats.
so how is it the president claims it is Republicans keeping his bill from going through?

is he telling us that NANCY PELOSI lied again? didnt Pelosi say she had the votes?

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

another lie:

"you can keep our healthcare."
why didnt he explain that once your company changes their policy or sign on to govt-run are that you automatically lose your insurance?

obama dug a deeper hole for himself.
instead of inviting in the other side he lashed out. how do you walk into a meeting to negotiate by blasting the other side before you even sit down to the table? UNBELIEVABLE.
no one likes being lied to.
cant wait to see poll numbers tomorrow.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic, the burden of proof is on YOU (and other birthers) to disprove the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. Conspiracy theories don't constitute viable evidence in court. You're outta here.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:52 PM

Then why does Obama ask Judge Carter to dismiss the case instead of letting Hawaii show what they have and the colleges he went to show if he applied as a dual citizen to overcome his possibly medium tier grades and test scores?

Case SA-CV09-0082-DOC (Keyes V. Obama)

Judge has ordered compliance with FRCP 26 by the parties by Oct 5, 2009 or face a short deadline. Obama is hoping the appeals court stops the discovery motion in time for him to keep the fraud going.

Why can't you say the name of the doctor who signed Obama's birth certificate? How can you trust him to reform health care if we don't know that or what hospital he was born in?

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 9, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"Numerous independent analyses have shown that malpractice lawsuits contribute a tiny fraction to the cost of health care."

May be true, but that is not the issue with malpractice/tort reform. Fear of lawsuits causes Doctors to practice defensive medicine, ordering unnecessary tests and procedures.

BTW, if malpractice lawsuits are such a tiny fraction of the cost of health care, then the lawyers shouldn't object to limits on their amounts, right? We should expect no opposition from the ABA, correct?

Sure.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 9, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

900BILLION?
AND "it wont add to deficit"?
the more obama lies about this the more democrats and independents he loses.

this is getting to the point of ridiculous.

DEATH PANELS!
well cloaked in another name?
what is rationing medications that can proglong life? ISNT THAT A DEATH PANEL?

imo, he only highlighted what is very wrong with both he and his healthcare plan. full of dishonesty and attempted trickery, imo.

no wonder the congressman's emotions got so riled. HEARING a lie is one thing. hearing a lie that someone WROTE IN A SPEECH and had time to correct it is un-nerving and frustrating.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering...if all these Post reporters have this insight and command of the facts on healthcare, why do you waste newsprint following the gamesmanship? This information is what your readers want. And you hide it in this online real-time blog. You wonder why you're losing readers? If your coverage simply reflects what they can see on cable shoutfests, why waste time with The Post?

Bob Griendling

Posted by: bob16 | September 9, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Reflectins: nothing new was offerred, nothing has changed

Posted by: red4ever2 | September 9, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that worries me about Obama's health reform is the rise in costs for the psychiatric care that Repubtards sorely need.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | September 9, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

In the name of civility toward South Carolinians, I'd like to point out that Fritz Hollings seemed gentlemanly. Oh wait, he's a Democrat.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

From Europe where "universal" health care is touted to exist, I can say it does with quite a few caveats (decent care requires supplemental insurance + being on good terms with the doctor). Why? Because no one here or in the US wants to face realities nor agree on hard definitions of what should be covered or not - no matter who you are. Too many want "the best" for themselves.

In Europe like in the US a huge portion of "health care" costs are for elective and "comfort" medicine for those who have good insurance. If every adult citizen had a 1000-2000$ check-up each year with breast or prostrate + colon tests, what would be left for disease treatment of all the diagnosed and other diseases? (recent studies for breast & prostrate cancers show 30% over/unecessary treatment AND some forms of these cancers will systematically be deadly no matter when cancer is detected or how much is spent on treatment). If every adult citizen is put on cholesterol lowering drugs - what's left for other drugs?

God forbid if everyone had access to Dr. House type diagnostics - the health budget would be higher than the military budget!

"Basic" care in France means fixed amount paid to doctors. The result is a large portion of the population can't even get an appointment, so in fact have "no care"(unless the person is willing to pay the extra - in cash on the spot) - this is especially true for dental care.
"Basic" care in Switzerland means no choice of doctors or second opinions - dental care is not covered at all.

Ultimately, governments will draw up a list of what is covered or not & for whom - and all hell will break loose - this will not be because of the poor, smokers or the responsible people who avoid doctors and accept the slings and arrows of growing older, but because of the people who abuse their priviledge of having insurance for what they call "peace of mind" or 5% improvement & what pays for that extra vacation for the doctor looking out for number one.

Posted by: sally62 | September 9, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Even the WaPo journalists -- who've spent most of the year genuflecting before their hero -- aren't that impressed. Doesn't bode well. Normally they're quivering with excitement when Barry speaks.

Posted by: Diesel_Skins | September 9, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

How a prima facie case works:
1. Complainant asserts complaint.
2. Respondent supplies evidence refuting complaint.
3. Burden of proof is on Complainant to discredit Respondent's evidence by the preponderance-of-evidence (i.e >50%) standard.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

OldAtlantic, the burden of proof is on YOU (and other birthers) to disprove the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. Conspiracy theories don't constitute viable evidence in court. You're outta here.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

What naysayers (not to mention delusional birther conspiracy theorists) need to remember is the dictum of Tom "The Hammer" DeLay when he was such a force in the House, except now it applies for the Democrats: You only need 50% + 1 vote in order to pass a bill. The people that President Obama was trying to influence with tonight's speech were Democratic Representatives and Senators who might be wavering, and I'm guessing his speech may well have succeeded in supplying those 50% + 1 votes in both the House and Senate.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

That SC representative should resign. He's an embarrassment to the GOP and Americans.

Posted by: onifadee | September 9, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Nosy_Parker, What hospital was Obama born in? What doctor signed Obama's birth certificate? Why can't you write the answers instead of a link that doesn't know either.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 9, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

All your questions, and more, answered right here:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

Oh, and don't forget that pesky (for your birther conspiracy) detail of Obama's birth announcement in the Honolulu papers a few days later.

Game. Set. Match.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Nosy_Parker, my fellow blogger, was Obama born in Kapiolani Medical center? Not sure? If you aren't sure what hospital he was born in, what makes you sure he can pay for the health care of everyone in the world who passes through here? What is the name of the doctor who signed Obama's birth certificate?

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 9, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse


Portion of email just recieved:

A Rebuke of their “Anointed One???

Exactly, were is the press! I certainly didn't
> hear about it! What makes this even better is this
> amendemt was introduced by a Republican woman from
> Texas!
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-overwhelming-rebukes-obama-signing-statement-2009-07-09.html

> House Rebukes Obama
> w/ 429-2 Vote! Says “No Imperial
> President!”

> Where’s The Press??

> The House yesterday voted overwhelmingly
> 429-2 to Rebuke President Obama! It sent a clear message to
> Mr. Obama that he is NOT an IMPERIAL President! After
> the overwhelming
> rebuke of the President by the House, Barney Frank said of
> the stunning vote against Obama:

> “We do this not just on behalf of this
> institution, but ON BEHALF OF THIS DEMOCRACY. There’s kind
> of a unilateralism, an UNDEMOCRATIC, UNREACHABLE way about
> these signing statements.” At issue is an

> amendment added to the $106 Billion
> Supplemental War-Funding
> legislation
> signed by Obama last month. During the
> signing, Obama stated he would not follow the amendment’s
> constraints with respect to the World Bank and International
> Monetary Fund. Obama stated the conditions “interfered”
> with his powers as President.
> Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) the Ranking Member of
> the Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign
> Operations, introduced the amendment that won the 429-2 vote
> to
> reaffirm Congress’ role in controlling the
> Administration as it spends hundreds of billions of dollars
> in multilateral foreign assistance. After the vote, Rep.
> Granger said,
>
> “I appreciate the bipartisan support for my
> amendment. I think we can all agree that now more than ever
> we need to keep a watchful eye on how we spend money
> regardless of whether its spent domestically or overseas.
> Sending money overseas, and to an organization such as the
> IMF with no commitment from the Administration to ensure the
> funds are used properly or will not be given to any state
> sponsor of terrorism is completely
> unacceptable.”


> We applaud Rep.Granger and the responsible
> act of the House to rein in this runaway freight train that
> is President
> Obama!

> Notice, Rep. Granger
> said the purpose of the vote was to ensure, in part, that
> Obama would not give our tax money to state sponsors of
> terrorism! It took this overwhelming REBUKE of Congress to
> STOP Mr. Obama from his stated plan to ignore the
> law.

> The question is: Why has this not been
> reported on the national news? Why have no
> major news outlets picked up on this. Despite
> all his unpopularity, President Bush never suffered such an
> OVERWHELMING, STINGING Rebuke by the Congress. If Bush had
> been Rebuked like this, it would be the LEAD STORY for at
> least the Next 48 hours and probably be a Major Election
> Issue!! Why is the Press silent when
> it comes to this
> Rebuke of their “Anointed One”?? Enough is Enough!!

steven

Posted by: WONDERWALEYE | September 9, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, OldAtlantic. The Obama health plan will even cover treatment for your delusional condition.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 9, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Good, professional analyses by Post reporters of an effective speech by President Obama that would have been much mre effective had he given it three months ago.

Posted by: jbritt3 | September 9, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

What hospital was Obama born in? Where is the birth certificate? The man can't tell the truth about anything. Obama again stonewalled the courts on his applications to college that likely claim he is a dual citizen and thereby a diversity bonus. Judge Carter has ordered discovery to start but Obama is now using DOJ to stonewall. Once the documents come out, Obama will be exposed as a fraud just like his health care.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | September 9, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link:
http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/Man_Trying_to_Help_IkeAffected_Families_Contacts_Akin
Emily

'Take it to Akin'
Consumer Hotline
FOX 26 News
Houston, TX 77469
713-479-2921

HELLO MY NAME IS PAUL MOORE BECAUSE OF MEN
LIKE THE PRESIDENT THAT WHY I DO WHAT I DO
GOD BLESS HIM PS PLEASE SEE VIDEO

Posted by: earth_quake1 | September 9, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

At roughly the 27 minute mark a member of the audience yelled, "You lie." This was in response to the President explaining that illegal immigrants would not be able to receive free health care. Is there anyway to determine who made this outburst? If so who said it?

Posted by: mcforsyth | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Is there something in the water in South Carolina that has so many of their elected politicians acting like complete jerks?

Seriously.

Posted by: phoenixresearch | September 9, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I hope that the Congress heeds the President's call to remember America's character of respectful debate and working together to resolve our greatest challenges. The rancor, bitterness and partisanship must end, and end now!

Posted by: KayRose1 | September 9, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

President Obama made a good speech, he is willing to listen and I hope both side of the aisle would do that and negotiate and come up with the Health reform that will work for all Americans. On the sad side, I have never seen anyone as rude as that representative from SC - what a shame, how could we ever elect someone rude and nasty like him?

Posted by: cahayasinar | September 9, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice Greek Chorus WaPobama bloggers.

Posted by: grohlik | September 9, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lori, It's not the cost of Malpractice lawsuits, it's the cost of avoiding and defending agaisnt them that drive up costs to a sizeable percentage of medical costs.

Posted by: red4ever2 | September 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. President! He said everything that needed to be said, addressing all sides. He invited the opposition to submit their plans, but made it known he's not stepping aside from those fundamental principles. He faced the accusations head on, and those who made them up ought to be ashamed of themselves after he brought them to the forefront as well. It's time to get with the program!

Thanks Mr. President! We're on the right track =) You said what needed to be said, hands down. It's time for some action. You didn't come to the office to do nothing, and I didn't vote you in to sit and stare at this issue like some would seem to propose. Don't scrap the plan's principles, but invite the opposition to find ways of IMPROVING it. This is the United States in the 21st century and it is RIDICULOUS for our children to have to learn in school that we're far behind other countries in terms of health care. That makes NO sense.

Another president, spoken with such values I believe my America should be all about, and values that includes every American citizen. That's the way to go! Thank you Mr. President!! Don't back down from those principles!! We're on the right track =)

Posted by: Obama2008 | September 9, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

SOS different day....Obama speech was a rehash....public option is socialism. All of a sudden the government has a magic wand to stop waste and abuse.....if so we wouldn't have the spend happy lunatics in Washington in both parties....time to sweep both houses clean....our Representatives and Senators should have to face town hall meetings continuously...they don't need to be in Washington, but once a year for the State of the Union, unless there is a National State of Emergency...go to meeting and satellite feeds are good enough for everyone else, they need to live with it...let's see how they vote then!!!

Posted by: conardkessel | September 9, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is absolutely right. This is an issue which shows the nation's character. When you can spend twice as much on tax cuts for the rich as it would take to provide health care for all, that says something about this nation's values.

I've been watching presidential addresses for years. This is the first time I've seen anyone from either party so disrespectful of the presidency as was the Republican who shouted out. To me, that one cry defines the GOP, and it is not a good definition.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | September 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

A surprisingly good analysis.

Posted by: JoeTH | September 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

My question is, if both sides can agree on the four points that the Republican representative presented in his speech. Why then can we not make a bill agreeing on that, pass it, and then concentrate on the other finer points of Health Care reform?

Posted by: ai3di | September 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I am sick to death of listening to Republicans whine about no one listening to them, no one wants to negotiate with them. BLAH, BLAh, BLah, Blah, blah.... If they had a plan why don't the American people know about it? Why weren't they talking about their plan during the town hall meetings? Why don't they give the plan to Limbaugh and Beck who are so good at indoctrinating their listeners to spread the good news about their health care plan?

Republicans have shown that they are not willing to negotiate in good faith with the President or Democrats. They can not be taken seriously, they have no creditability. Who trust them? They criticize President Obama for doing the same thing they are doing. Face it, the American people had a choice in Nov. and they rejected Republicans, Republican ideologies and Republican policies. Silly season is over and now it's time for Congress to do what they were elected for, do what is right for the American people.

Posted by: catmomtx | September 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching presidential addresses for years. This is the first time I've seen anyone from either party so disrespectful of the presidency as was the Republican who shouted out. To me, that one cry defines the GOP, and it is not a good definition.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | September 9, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Great Speech! And what we do now will speak to our character as a nation. We must be in position to take care of those who can not take care of themselves...that is our character.

Posted by: cmconsult01 | September 9, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG, I didn't think any sane, intelligent, independent person could make an already complicated and divisive issue more COMPLICATED & DIVISIVE!!!
BO's unwillingness to compromise on the public option will be the death of his agenda - I've given up hope for health care reform...

Posted by: american17 | September 9, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Just as Hilary and McCain did, the GOP freaks out while Obama keeps it cool.

Its Obama's ROPE-a-D-GOP-E

You think hes down and he comes back with a speech like this.

REFORM WILL PASS!!!!

Posted by: tallertapas311 | September 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse


OH THE PAIN THEY CAUSED! WHY NOT GET ALL THEM INVOLVED!

While the Court is going to hear the obama Birth Certificate case there are a bunch more that have contributed to ALL the citizens pain in AMERICA.

For instance the ones in his campaign that had responsibilities for the filings required by obama. Or:

Clerk of the House of Representatives, Secretary of the Senate, Federal Election Commission, Secretary of state's offices in the US where forms must be filled out by candidates, The Attorney general.

Even folks that voted for obama in GOOD FAITH hoping for a GOOD change were duped by obama. This has hurt everyone in this country and set us back in time.

We need to show all the elected officials NEVER AGAIN!

We also need to give MORAL SUPPORT to the judge that will only be hearing the obama Birth Certificate portion of this CRIME.

We can do this by YOU going to the State and Federal GRAND JURIES all over this country requesting a COMPLETE investigation of all involved. Lets get a resolve once and for all.

steven

SEE:

http://www.aarp.org/community/groups/displayTopic.bt?pageNum=1&groupId=21052&topicId=4043272

Posted by: WONDERWALEYE | September 9, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

We can not NOT afford to have health care reform. If this does not pass, each congressman voting no should decline their federal health package and go on the open market. Plus they should decline their federal salary and volunteer to reduce the federal budget. What about that?

Posted by: cmconsult01 | September 9, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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