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Obama Press Conference: First Thoughts



President Barack Obama takes questions from the press corps in a prime time news conference. Photo by Marvin Joseph of the Washington Post

President Barack Obama used a prime-time press conference Wednesday night to issue a defense, filled with facts and figures, of his policies on health care and the economy, policies that have drawn significant criticism from Republicans, and even some Democrats, in recent weeks.

"I realize that with all the charges and criticisms being thrown around in Washington, many Americans may be wondering, 'What's in this for me?' " Obama said in his opening statement -- a seeming acknowledgment that his political opponents had gained some traction in their push back against his plan to reform the health-care system.

Throughout the hour-long press conference, which was dominated by questions about the feasibility, cost and sacrifices tied to an overhaul of the health-care system, Obama cited a string of data points to make the case that preserving the status quo was unacceptable.

Obama also repeatedly reminded viewers that he had inherited an economy "on the verge of a complete financial meltdown" and had done everything he could -- despite the unpopularity of some of the measures -- to ensure the viability of the financial sector in the early days of his administration.

The Fix Tweeted the proceedings as they happened but also managed to jot down a few broader thoughts about the event.

* Professor Obama: Obama used his opening statement to lay out the stakes, the progress that had been made and the goals still yet to be accomplished on health care. He read carefully and put special emphasis on several points -- the most important being that those who like their coverage will not be affected by the legislation -- to ensure that there was no mixup in the minds of the public about what was being proposed. He cited various facts and figures to back up his points and also to dispute some of the arguments against the plan. It felt to us like we were in a classroom where the students were the American people. Too didactic? It didn't feel that way, but we reserve the right to revisit it upon further reflection.

* Playing Defense: Obama's great gift is the ability to rise above -- or at least to give that impression -- the partisan warfare that dominates Washington to appeal to the common sense of the American public. But, from his opening statement on, it was clear that part of Obama's goal in the press conference was to directly rebut charges leveled against him and his health care plan by Republicans. In his opening statement, he made an oblique reference to Sen. Jim DeMint, and time after time in the question-and-answer portion, Obama made reference to specific arguments against his efforts and worked to rebut them. The White House has used the last five days -- what amounts to an all-out media blitz -- to snatch back the offensive in the health-care fight, but it was clear from tonight's press conference that it has incurred some damage from the past few weeks of partisan wrangling in Washington.

* Stakes Are High: The underlying message of the entire news conference was this: The country has major problems that everyone has a stake in. Obama argued that changing the health-care system wasn't about simply covering the people who don't have health insurance but rather about making health care affordable and portable for all Americans. Social Security and Medicare are not someone else's problem, he argued, they are everyone's problem; likewise, fixing the ailing economy. The idea that everyone has skin in the game was at the core of Obama's rhetorical efforts.

* I Feel Your Pain: For a politician who was criticized during the early days of his presidential campaign for not showing enough empathy for the problems of everyday Americans, Obama was the empathizer-in-chief tonight. He repeatedly referenced the fact that he knew people were struggling and that the country was in a rough patch. He said he knew that people were nervous about making major changes to health care and that sometimes the devil you know seems better than the devil you don't. He referenced the letters he receives telling of sick children who need a change to the health care system now, not in the fall. It was an interesting change of pace for Obama -- and we are interested to see how it plays out in the coverage.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 22, 2009; 9:35 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Next: Morning Fix: All Obama Press Conference, All the Time

Comments

he was parting the seas

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Here's a "broader thought on the event". What was with the lighting on both sides behind the Preident?

Posted by: Stephen17 | July 24, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Christ (no, not you, CC)!

Doesn't ANYONE from WaPo monitor these awful comments???

Really, it's time that some of these out-of-control nut-jobs were told to make substantive comments or be banned!

This horrible ugliness is spoiling the atmosphere for all of us who are seriously commenting on Chris's articles--on both sides.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 23, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Why do people believe that not-for-profit health providers existing alongside private health providers will result in all the private health providers going bankrupt? They have had private and State-run [not-for-profit] education existing side-by-side for many years without all the private colleges going out of business.

The truth is that those who have a vested [financial or political] interest in maintaining the status quo seem to have, time after time, influenced the debate over healthcare away from solutions that might benefit us all to ones that only benefit a small section of society.

No doubt we will have to wait until the US is completely bankrupt, or some major health issue seriously affects lawmakers and their loved ones, before the politically and financially motivated scaremongers lose out to medical and economic reality.

Posted by: Ex-Mil | July 23, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Generally speaking, I think that Americans are much too self centered to think about the needs of people who are NOT insured. Other countries seem to have the empathy needed and think WE instead of ME. Americans who are currently employed don't give a rats behind about children or adults who are not insured. Now if they saw people dying in front of their faces, well maybe they might care. Until then, as long as they and their loved ones have insurance, most don't have the capacity to love others who are not friends or family. These people are usually the ones who sit in church and listen to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and 'treat others as you want to be treate', from the bible, but still don't have a clue as to what Jesus meant.

Posted by: lcastillo5 | July 23, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will never -I repeat NEVER- say to your face what he actually plans to do or achieve with these huge new government programs…. like bankrupt the private health insurance industry. Everything’s rolled-out in a trojan horse, and you’re not allowed to look inside or ask any questions. Suffice to say, good-faith disclosure is simply not how this crew operates.

Rather, you get some calculating and specious oratory with styrofoam props to wow the plebes, like the tacky Greek columns in Denver. To him, the revolutionary ends justify the Alinskyite means- so the Dear Leader just tells you whatever he needs to, he knows what’s best for you anyway.

And the truth is that Obama is out to nationalize health care.. they’ll be no private insurance industry left after five years of Obamacare… but of course he’s lying about it.

As for the American public, the reality that Obama is dishonest and out-of-control seems to finally be setting-in; the poll numbers are now headed steadily south- is he already facing his Waterloo on this legislation?

Looks like it from where I’m standing…

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | July 23, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO! Obama loses this battle. Dingy Harry Reid just announced the heathcare vote will NOT happen before August recess!

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

How would you get emergency heath care if you could not prove you have health insurance. Do you think the assumption will be everyone has therfore no one needs to prove health insurance.

The centralized health records will make sure you have a nice little number and all your mental and physical heath problems will be kept there.

A hugh underground for medical procedures will be the unintended outcome.

Posted by: vaincre | July 23, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

You are not aware of the $1000.00 fine for not having heath insurance proposed in the current bill! I only assume one will have to carry a card to prove you have insurance, like auto insurance.

Posted by: vaincre | July 23, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse


aprogressive:
it concerns them. the "undocumenteds".
but the data still needs to be quantified.

you know, the healthcare ballpark is not the ballpark for addressing undocumenteds.
I would like the IRS Tax Code to address undocumenteds.
Is there an issue? Yes, there will be outcry that undocumenteds are being served under this new program.....
catch is...
not for long they won't.
MMUUUHHHHAAAAA

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

vaincre:
wait...what?
You are ASKED (by the officer) for your health card????????????
--then, what?
......"Not having a health card a fine for $1000.00 is issued along with some extra fees tact on by the local authorities."

is this true?

and why are you asked for a health card on a traffic stop?
and why does it entail a fine if not produced?

what state is this?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I get stopped for a routine traffic violation and asked for my drivers lic. and my heath card. Not having a health card a fine for $1000.00 is issued along with some extra fees tact on by the local authorities. Gosh I can't wait for change!

How you can spot a humanist - he can't tell you the problem, but he can give you plenty of examples.

Posted by: vaincre | July 23, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Being very intelligent, a policy wonk, such as some consider Clinton, does not guarantee a president will be an overall success. After the failure of the Clintons' health care initiative and the Republican political resurgence in the 1994 Congressional elections, president Clinton was very timid about seeking significant domestic policy intiatives. He was to a large extent reacting to the agenda of the Republican majority in Congress.

The issue as to whether illegal immigrants will receive health care insurance subsidies has not been addressed or answered by president Obama, as far as I know. It would be unfair for some legal residents to pay higher taxes and/or many legal residents to have Medicare benefits reduced to provide health care insurance for millions of illegal immigrants. This would entice millions more to come here illegally, but this does not seem to concern Obama, most Democrats and business interests in the Republican party.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

To Everyone Who Throws About Terms They Don't Understand:

Fascism and Socialism are COMPLETE POLAR OPPOSITES! Make up your minds--If you detest Obama, call him one or the other. Even under the late-unlamented-Bush regime, when the US was edging closer to Fascism than at any time in a century, it wasn't nearly as codified or repressive as a TRUE Fascist regime.

As for Obama being a Socialist, that is equally ridiculous. Under Socialism, Wall Street would shrivel up like a kid's willy in icy water!

So, if you all want to defame the President (and, may I remind you that his election wasn't a 'squeaker' like Bush's was) just say he's an idiot, an incompetent--whatever, but please stop bandying about these absurdly ill-used terms.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 23, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Point being, the "public option" looks nothing like what Senators have."

So what? I doubt we can afford to cover 300 million people with the same package that Senators receive. A basic, affordable package that's available to all Americans is what is necessary. Those with the means to buy more coverage are welcome to do so. If you want to then change Senate compensation to reduce their coverage to what's available in the public plan, I'm OK with that.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 23, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"He didn't just now admit that he has great healthcare--it was part of his campaign that everyone should have what he had as a US Senator."

Point being, the "public option" looks nothing like what Senators have...because what Senators have (FEHP)is NOT a government plan, it is a mix of private plans that each senator can choose from...so no one under the public option will be getting (still) what every US Senator has...it will look nothing like that...it will be basic healthcare.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

bsimon: point taken-
More of a general rule than fundamental fact. The idle rich can afford healthcare without having a job, for instance. And elderly are eligible for Medicare, of course.

I have always said that eligibility is the keyword in the healthcare game
//
as your point outlines, we have segrated populations in-
different circumstances--that will affect the overhaul.
-have a job, have a plan
-have no job, have no plan
-low income means government program or nothing
-rich means-you have INCOME (perhaps a job and you get a plan)--or self employed (you pay for the whole plan), etc.
-Medicare--2010, baby boomers hit social security in record numbers. Medicare eligibility becomes an issue. Money spent will mean what???
However, numbers already prove that we have spent TOO much on the "broken system" that paid for the greatest generationERS.
now this harkens back to my greatest generationER argument....of "sorry folks, but you are passing into history and there is nothing you can do about it"...

i like the idea of if your plan is okay with you, don't worry. What you can worry about is if the company that is providing your plan will still be there on October 1st, 2010.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Obama did not lead a "privileged life" as a child or a young man. He DOES understand the average guy.

He didn't just now admit that he has great healthcare--it was part of his campaign that everyone should have what he had as a US Senator.

Yes, he has money. He doesn't actually need health insurance--he can afford to pay 100%. Just like Ted Kennedy can afford to pay cash for the non-standard cancer treatments he is getting. But these guys are trying to do this for the American people. They don't need it.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 23, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

boosterprez writes
"I am sick and tired of Obama reiterating, again last night, that those who like their coverage will not be affected by the legislation. This is a complete falsehood! The is not a promise he can keep. The Lewin Group estimates that the plan will take 80 million+ people off of their employer-sponsored plans."


One interesting note: the Lewin Group is owned by one of the largest healthcare companies in the US (UnitedHealth Group). There is an article today in the WaPost on this very subject.

Perhaps their view is tainted by self-interest.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 23, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

unclesam2 is saying the OPPOSITE of what is in the bill.

Where he claims rationing is spelled out in the bill (pg 29) is actually talking about your out-of-pocket maximum per year.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 23, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I am sick and tired of Obama reiterating, again last night, that those who like their coverage will not be affected by the legislation. This is a complete falsehood! The is not a promise he can keep. The Lewin Group estimates that the plan will take 80 million+ people off of their employer-sponsored plans. Why? Because companies, in an effort to cut costs, something they are always looking to do, will find the public option cheaper than what they're paying for privately, and so will dump their employer-sponsored plans and allow their employees to fend for themselves.

And how can anyone claim that Obama feels our pain? That is laughable! He readily admitted, when asked the question about whether he and his family would take the public option themselves, that he has very good health insurance already...not the thing struggling families want to hear! He's just a very good actor when it comes to playing the empathy card...he may sympathize with your pain, but there's no empathy there. He's led a privileged life, so empathy is not possible.

Posted by: boosterprez | July 23, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

babe nemo speculates:
"a fundamental fact of the system:
if you do not have a job, you do not have health care coverage...is this correct?"


More of a general rule than fundamental fact. The idle rich can afford healthcare without having a job, for instance. And elderly are eligible for Medicare, of course.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 23, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

More good news for my American friends. Your President speaks the truth, does not dodge difficult questions and knows the facts. Frequently, Americans get fed misinformation and lies and sometimes swallow it whole. Case in point: Liz Cheney says that Mr.Obama is trying to implement a system like the Ca. or Uk. one which would mean Americans would not be able to choose their doctor.I will address just that point: I am a 65 year old Canadian. Between my wife and I we have access to about 6 doctors in various specialties and our family doctor WHOM WE CHOSE, who acts somewhat like our team leader. We can see our MD the same day if need be. If specialist help is needed a referral is handled by his staff and an appointment made that we can modify. I pay for these services through my taxes but they are there when I need them. Specialist doctors can visit the hospital close to where I live and have access to all test results and Xrays. Our ER is four miles away and we can be seen 7-24 usually in a few minutes. Our family doctor has access to all ER records as need be. I can buy additional services for certain non standard options and do so at a very small cost. The only time I have to pay out substantial fees to an insurance company is when I winter in the US. Like all Canadians, we can expect to live several years longer than our friends in the US whom we treasure. Please support Mr Obama in his efforts.

Posted by: hercster44 | July 23, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse


you mean, we are actually "reading the bill" today!!!!

i am so proud of you class.

a fundamental fact of the system:
if you do not have a job, you do not have health care coverage...is this correct?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse


he should counter all his opponents' views.
at every step of the way.

one of the things i like about President Obama is that he tells it like it is.
"They say this.....it is like this"

it's more of a "beginning of an overhaul".
and in any beginning of an overhaul (damage control big time based on the fact that it is an overhaul)-----
leaps of faith are written into the model.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The posting by Anoneemous proves our mental healthcare is not working, at all.
Perhaps that's Rush Limbaugh's sign in!!
Doesn't incoherent ranting illuminate mental illness?????

Posted by: rosenfan1 | July 23, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

unclesam2 is a liar. Everything he posts it completely made up.

Posted by: drindl | July 23, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling all these naysayers and most drastic opponents to Obama are also the ones who rubber stamped the Bush years that got us into this mess.
For the first time in 8 years we have a lucid president who gets attacked with NO at every juncture without any alternative ideas. I'm not saying he's perfect, by no means, but considering the previous diminshed capacity president, he is a godsend.
When your handed a very large pile of lies and fecal matter from the previous tenant, you have to start shoveling away his mess.

Posted by: rosenfan1 | July 23, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Funny how everytime anyone mentions healthcare reform this place turns into a sewer of rightwing trolls...

Guess they're afraid they might get some treatment for their serious mental health issues.

Posted by: drindl | July 23, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Last night Obama continuously lied to Americans! What BS!

Last night Obama continuously lied to Americans! What BS!

Last night Obama continuously lied to Americans! What BS!

Last night Obama continuously lied to Americans! What BS!

Posted by: Anoneemous | July 23, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

To UncleSam2

I looked at your post and then downloaded the bill. I checked the first two of your references, on pages 22 and 29. I don't think they say what you think they say. The first is a study to find information and the second limits individual cost sharing (your out-of-pocket as I read it).

Please reread the bill.

From (conservative) Hipshot.

Posted by: hipshot | July 23, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

There are arguably 40 million illegals in our United States freeloading on our Healthcare System, and driving the costs up.

Obama, when he spoke of 46 million uninsured, didn't bother to tell the public, that many of them are illegals, who shouldn't even being in our country.

Obama, if you stopped promising AMNESTY to ILLEGALS, perhaps they would begin leaving. Quit dangling the carrot, and start driving the illegals out of our country; they are costing taxpayers 100's of billions a year

Posted by: buzzm1 | July 23, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

There are arguably 40 million illegals in our United States freeloading on our Healthcare System, and driving the costs up.

Obama, when he spoke of 46 million uninsured, didn't bother to tell the public, that many of them are illegals, who shouldn't even being in our country.

Obama, if you stopped promising AMNESTY to ILLEGALS, perhaps they would begin leaving. Quit dangling the carrot, and start driving the illegals out of our country; they are costing taxpayers 100's of billions a year

Posted by: buzzm1 | July 23, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The White House hopes people tuned in for the knock-out opening statement...and then turned the TV off for the very wonkish and uninspiring Q&A.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 23, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

'FACTS VS. EMPATHY'

Excuse me, Cillizza, I don't see where the 'facts' are in any way 'versus' 'empathy. Care to elucidate?

Posted by: drindl | July 23, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

chrisfox -- i have a feeling any discussion of healthcare will get a link from drudge, because these rightwing freaks are determined -- for whatever sick reason -- that insurance companies be allowed to run our lives. They can't stand the idea that government can do a better job at something -- they hate America too intensely to want government to succeed.

Posted by: drindl | July 23, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

The Bills being referenced are not the final product so stop with all the BS about not starting until 1012, etc. Those that fear monger about Medicare and rising copays, etc....Change must occur. The system will be insolvent in a few years. Those who complain about socialism are probably the ones who will be most dependent on Medicare and Social Security and need to just shut up. I'm not hopeful that they can actually read and understand the whole issue.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | July 23, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

The link to the actual bill was interesting (thank you indirectly "uncle sam" for that link). However, I was unable to correlate your quotes and critical analysis with the actual bill. "uncle sam," I thought for once "here's somebody I might disagree with, but at least supports his critique with facts." Upon reading the actual bill, however, I was pretty disappointed. Your points are only 10 percent accurate.

If you want to read the actual bill (and have a whole lot of time on your hands) here's the link:

http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

Posted by: quigley_david | July 23, 2009 4:36 AM | Report abuse

He "UncleSam" that's a load of bull. Maybe you and cousin Billy-Bob ought mosey over the Wade's and stock up to defend the Constitution gainst them illegal aliens, y'hear?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 23, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 23, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Here are some more details in the bill:

Pg 22 of the HC Bill ---- MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill ----YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill ----The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

Pg 58HC Bill ---- Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 ----Govt will have direct access 2 your bank accounts 4 elect. funds transfer

PG 65 Sec 164 ---- is a payoff subsidized plan 4 retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 ---- Govt is creating an HC Exchange 2 bring priv HC plans under Govt control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill ---- Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs 4 priv. HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill ---- Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration ur Healthcare!

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill ---- Govt mandates linguistic approp svcs. Example - Translation 4 illegal aliens

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 ---- The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps 2 sign up indiv. for Govt HC plan

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill ----- Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - U Health care WILL b rationed

-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill ---- Medicaid Eligible Indiv. will b automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC ----No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monop

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill ---- Doctors/ #AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what u can make.

Pg 145 Line 15-17 ---- An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 ---- Employers MUST pay 4 HC 4 part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ----ANY Emplyr w payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

pg 150 Lines 9-13 ----Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesnt prov. pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ---- ANY individual who doesnt have acceptable HC according 2 Govt will be taxed 2.5% of inc

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill ----Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from indiv. taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 HC Bill ---- officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access 2 ALL Americans finan/pers recs

Posted by: UncleSam2 | July 23, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Congress and America did not hear many facts tonight so go to
http://blog.flecksoflife.com/2009/07/19/the-first-400-pages-of-the-hc-monstrosity/
to read some. Examples:

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill ---- THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill ---- Healthcare will be provided 2 ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill ---- Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 195 HC Bill ---- officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access 2 ALL Americans finan/pers recs

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC ----"The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that

Call Congress at 202-224-3121 to tell them your views and let them know in Nov. 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: UncleSam2 | July 23, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Clinton was a jaw-dropping master of detail. I remember one of his debates with Bush the Greater .. someone asked a two-part question. He ticked off a five-point answer to the first one, which was impressive enough, and then my jaw hit the floor when he went on to the second question without a pause, an ummm, a uhhhh, no need to regather his thoughts and start on the second, and all the while he's before an audience and keeping his demeanor straight.

Nixon was impressive in his extemporaneity; Clinton was stunning. Is Obama in his class?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 23, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow, looks like we got the whole gang here tonight .. Cletus and Jethro, Trevor and Dakota and Rienna. All lined up on a high branch and howling.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 23, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Beg to differ, sverigegrabb. Pres. Obama most certainly was on his A game tonight. He answered tough questions clearly and thoroughly. I can't think of another recent President, with the exception of Bill Clinton (who is a monster policy wonk), who has similar recall of details and can articulate them for general consumption with ease.

And compared to our last President? Okay, I'll let it go.

Posted by: Kelly14 | July 23, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I work for the govt and (as is also the case with many large corporations) can choose from a variety of plans. We elected to spend a little more money on top of the govt contribution to get a PPO instead of an HMO. Thus my family has more choices as to who we see and when. The President plan appears to ensure everyone has a basic level of coverage but would allow individuals to select a plan with better coverage and / or better service if they're willing to spend their own dollars on it. This is a reasonable approach.

Posted by: grumpyoldman1 | July 23, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

The government will pretty much know you inside and out (and with pictures).

==

So why don't you go buy another half dozen handguns, you paranoid freak

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 23, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

"a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology"

If you think that the Obama aministration is a "radical and authoritarian nationalist" government, then you must be pitifully sheltered from the hard realities of history, the suffering of people who actually lived (and continue to live) under nationalist authoritarian regimes. The only word that I can think of that appropriately describes this type of breathless hyperbole is "decadence." The third definition, according to the Random House Dictionary, meaning "unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence." So congratulations. Simply by exaggerating beyond the limits of all reasonable discourse, you've instantly made yourself and your argument seem ridiculous.

Posted by: drgrepper | July 23, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Another Drudge link to here?

Where is all the filth coming from?

How ver-ry predictable they are. Trial lawyers, "Obimbo," teleprompter.

That's the opposition, and oh man is it lame.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 23, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Actually, mharwick, your definition sounds like a precise description of the Bush administration.

Posted by: jonfromcali | July 23, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"Fascism, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology and a corporatist economic ideology.
Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in conflict against the weak.[6] Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state.[7] Fascist governments forbid and suppress criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.[8] Fascism opposes class conflict, blames capitalist liberal democracies for its creation and communists for exploiting the concept.[9] Fascism is much defined by what it opposes, what scholars call the fascist negations - its opposition to individualism, rationalism, liberalism, conservatism and communism. In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a "Third Way" in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism. This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Mussolini called his nation's system "the corporate state"). No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition."
We have now a fascist government imposing itself on the people.

Posted by: mharwick | July 23, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The president made an attempt to outshine the late great promoter Billy Mays. Unfortunately, he did not succeed. It may have been the product. Billy Mays often invested in the products he hawked and made sure they were reliable.

Posted by: rich15 | July 23, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The president made an attempt to outshine the late great promoter Billy Mays. Unfortunately, he did not suceed. It may have been the product. Billy Mays often invested in the products he hawked and made sure they were reliable.

Posted by: rich15 | July 22, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Does Chris not realize how SILLY it sounds to say he "tweeted the proceedings as they happened"? Makes him sound like a canary or some dam thing.

Posted by: JimC45 | July 22, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness, K_o_Z, et. al.:

My, my, my! Did we overdose on our nasty pills and bile cocktails this evening? Your systems should be immune by now, but apparently the noxious excess had to find some outlet. Such a pity it was this blog. Really, this is beyond the limit!

President Obama was not on his A-game this evening, it's true, but even though he glossed over the 'wonkish' details, for someone who hasn't even been given a completed Bill to consider, and who has to placate all the whiny little egos on Capitol Hill (wonder what he'd do with many of you commentators!), I thought he did quite well.

In the final comment on Professor Gates, he stepped in it a bit, as the story details which were reported, leave some points rather vague.

'Professor Obama' would have done better to remember that he is now POTUS, with every single word being dissected--and not always by friendly audiences, either (viz., many on this thread).

But all in all, things went reasonably well.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 22, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

What we need is a clear summary of the legislation that is currently written so that we stop trading charges about what's in the bill. I watched O'Reilly state (with no proof) that under the bills, all of our medical charts would be forwarded electronically to the government. I do not believe that will be the case. But the Dems would be wise to be upfront about what is and is not in the bills.

----------------------------------

Of course your electronic medical record (and medical records) will go to the government. They would be running your healthcare under the public plan. Part of the stimulus money (millions) was to get electronic medical records up and running.

The government will pretty much know you inside and out (and with pictures).

Posted by: playfair109 | July 22, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Double yawn !!!!!!!!

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | July 22, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

It's truly amazing how many identities some people on this board post under - but still using the same exact words. How many stupid people will be fooled?

Yes, R trolls have taken over this board -- too bad Cililzza hasn't noticed, if he really wanted to foster intelligent conversation, he might want to enforce his own rules.

Posted by: drindl | July 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

What we need is a clear summary of the legislation that is currently written so that we stop trading charges about what's in the bill. I watched O'Reilly state (with no proof) that under the bills, all of our medical charts would be forwarded electronically to the government. I do not believe that will be the case. But the Dems would be wise to be upfront about what is and is not in the bills.

Posted by: DemoDevil | July 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else noticed that the Republican trolls are out in full force tonight? They've held their noses and created ID's on New York Times and Washington Post, which they probably never read otherwise. They seem *really* desperate to kill any health reform. No lies are too outrageous for them.

Others have noticed this, too: http://iamsoannoyed.com/?p=2299

Desperate, aren't we?

Posted by: MarkLai2 | July 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

King Obimbo continue to play the role of an impetulant little child. Watch him melt-down faster the the "Wicked Witch of the West' when congress thows cold water on his deadlines.

Pelosi says she has the votes? Showtime lady. Bring it on, in tomorrow's session. It's showtime folks.

Now about this Professor Gates thing. Well, now we know who the police can count on when the respond to a call of a B & E. Gates was playing the victim, just like the Obama-Nutzi he is. Keep singing "Woe is me" or "Yes We Can." The only thing King Obimbo is doing is sending us into a tail-spin with BIG BOGUS NUMBERS.

Sounds like King Obimbo is going to get Eric Holder to go after Cambridge PD for "civil rights" issues. What a joke.

Who was that idiot reporter that asked that question, anyway?

In conclusion, quit blaming things on Bush. King Obimbo has been in charge of the economy and has had a plan for two years, while Congress was run by the Dummycrats.

BTW, King Obimbo- What do you tell all of these people who want health insurance? Get off your butt and get a job!!! If your not here legally, go home!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | July 22, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

How hard is it to be critical of a clueless charlatans who promises anything to get his socialist way.

Remember 8 percent unemployment. Closing gitmo. Transparency.

The reality of effete is setting in. More to come.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 22, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, you just never hear folks clamoring for a private alternative to Medicare. In fact, even Republicans massively expanded the program to win votes under Bush. And yet at the same time they claim government medical insurance is evil. Funny, eh?

Posted by: nodebris | July 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

GOP and right wing out in force posting negative comments on press conference coverage articles. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by: carlyt | July 22, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"Or as someone once said about the polio vaccine...if it had been up to the govn, we would have had the best iron lung, but no vaccine."

Fuuny you should say that. Manufacturing vaccines has extremely poor profit margins, so all the US vaccine manufacturers fled to foreign (govt-subsidised) shores during the Bush years.

You may remember that the US ran out of flu vaccine 2 years back because it was dependent on foreign-made vaccine and one of just two factories supplying the entire US was closed down by British health inspectors.

Five years previously, the owner of that plant had been producing vaccines at a US facility. But producing vaccines stateside is not profitable and so is no longer done.

Posted by: kevrobb | July 22, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, lot of first time posters, mostly conservative and critical. Go figure.

Posted by: nodebris | July 22, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is such a fraud even dems aren't buying.

More coverage at lower cost. How gullible do you have to be?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 22, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

That was an hour of pure tap dancing I just forced myself to endure. It is becoming more obvious by the day that Obama doesn't have a lick of common sense. He said NOTHING tonight. The best we can hope for it that he gets bogged down in a quagmire for the next 3.5 years because everything he has gotten passed has been a disaster. I can see it in Obama's mannerisms, speech and facial expressions that he doesn't know what the h3ll he is doing. I knew we were getting an empty suit but now I think even the suit itself is made from tissue paper.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | July 22, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Are Americans really so infantile that they need constant "empathy" from someone on TV?

Do the world's most pampered people really need their millionaire politicians always pretending to "feel their pain"?

Or is that whole line - which Cillizza pushes ceaselessly - just more BS conventional wisdom from America's patronising pundit class?

It's hard to tell what the truth is. American pundits are generally wrong, but then again the American people ARE very whiny and needy, and allergic to facts.

Posted by: kevrobb | July 22, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"Look at out VA hospitals. That's what we'll get."

Looks pretty good to me.

Are you paying attention?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | July 22, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

There was too much detail for the Joe the Plumbers out there to absorb. Obama got bogged down in a whole lot of explaining. Most Americans, especially conservatives (intolerant of nuance as they are), need things to be spoken simply.

I think his best point was, to paraphrase, that if the current system, as it is today, were to be proposed, it would be shot down by Congress before the President had a chance to veto it. Status quo has to go.

Posted by: dognabbit | July 22, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama's professorial manner is exactly what's needed in an atmosphere that's been polluted with false charges and massive amounts of demagoguery. I can't imagine why anyone would "reserve the right" to criticize someone calmly and clearly laying out where he believes the health care situation stands and why he thinks he can fix it (with Congress' help).

As for being on the "defensive", another way to look at it is that the President was rebutting the phony statistics, wacky characterizations, and outright lies being spread by the opposition.

I would have liked to have seen him make some mention of the megamillions of lobbying dollars being doled out by the health insurance industry to defeat these reforms. I don't think the MSM has done a very good job of spreading the word about this.

In any event, I hope he keeps talking, keeps explaining, and keeps presenting the truth in the face of the garbage coming out of the other side.

Posted by: wkorn | July 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

So the Republicans have decided the best way to destroy the President is to destroy the USA and pick up the pieces after he goes?

Think again.

We will get our health care.

What ever happened to the Republicans willing to lose all to defend us? Where is John McCain in all this mess?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | July 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I have come to admire Obama's formal public speaking-both his Inaugural Address and his address to Congress were excellent. Each had a formal structure that gave weight to the sub themes, and each developed these with elegance and w/o artifice.

In this(today) more extemporaneous setting, I am reminded that no one has matched Pres. Clinton for pure mastery of the details of complex issues and legislation. But, Clintonesque mastery is not what the occasion required. It required the authority of wise leadership together with just enough competence to be credible. Obama came through, I believe, with flying colors.

Posted by: george22_1999 | July 22, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yawn is right. I can't seem to turn on CNN without seeing Obama on...

I want real answers...what about Big Pharm and how in the currnet bill no one can challenge their prices? What about malpractice ins? I don't want to hear about letters he (supposedly) gets about uninsured children. (Did a staffer write them?)

I'm against Univ Health Care. I don't want it and if it's passed I'll never vote for another democrat again.

Look at out VA hospitals. That's what we'll get. Or as someone once said about the polio vaccine...if it had been up to the govn, we would have had the best iron lung, but no vaccine.

Posted by: rumornlies | July 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

So sick of seeing the President everytime I turn on CNN and there was nothing new tonight. He said the Repubs were putting politics before policy...Maybe some of them are, but so are the Dems.

What about BigPharm and the clause in the current bill that no one can challenge their prices? What about the malpractice suits? I want real answers not talk about the letters he (supposedly) gets about uninsured children. He prob had some one on his staff to write them. He isn't gaining my sympathies...

Posted by: rumornlies | July 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Blames repubs with both houses.

Pitiful. Dazed and confused.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 22, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Aprogressiveindependent

YOU LOST ME ON...

LET'S ASSUME!

Posted by: danders5000 | July 22, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

American don't know what they want...

They rather vote against themselves in advancing healthcare reform...

Only to have Corporations turn around in five years and lobby a bill that states

You must work five years of full time before you can become eligible for employee healthcare benefits!

TRUST ME THAT WAS OR STILL GOING TO HAPPEN!!

Posted by: danders5000 | July 22, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Some ordinary people, who lack partisan affliations, including myself, though are beginning to wonder about how a health care bill, as being discussed in Congress, is actually going to effect middle class and retired people in this country. Obama tries to come across as having empathy for the middle class, but an individual mandate will create significant new financial burdens for millions of those in the middle class.

The House bill provides 400% subsidies, above the federal poverty level, a Senate bill is likely to only have 300% subsidies.
I doubt if Obama and members of Congress have done some basic math. 300% subsidies would result in individuals having more than about 32,000 in income, couples more than about 44,000 would receive no subsidy, they would be required to purchase health care insurance costing thousands on their own. With 400% subsidies the figures would be about 43,000 for single persons, 58,000 for couples.

Let's assume there are 400% subsidies. Take a couple having $60,000-70,000 in income, with a mortgage, car payments, the usual expenses. Most such households are financially struggling as is, many with no savings or actually owing about 10,000 in credit card debt at any given month. How are they going to come up with about $10,000 in money to pay for health care insurance for both of them?

Retired persons are likely to have to pay much higher out of pocket expenses as Medicare spending is significantly reduced and be denied, unless they are rich, certain costly medical treatments, if they are very frail, apparently nearing the end of their lives. This seems more like ancient Sparta than a civilized country in the modern era.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 22, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The one thing I was listening for, that would really reduce the cost of health care in this country, is reform of our tort/ medical malpractice system. I was,sadly and not surprisingly from a Democrat party that is beholden to trial lawyers, dissappointed to note that there was nothing about tort reform or the high cost of mal-practice insurance, or the fact that due to fear of lawsuits, doctors practice defensive medicine, which means way too many tests, and more tests. Without going after this aspect of health care costs, I think BHO is merely blowing smoke, and looking for a way to have bureaucrats control even more of our lives..

Posted by: skedoosker | July 22, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

He referenced the letters he receives telling of sick children who need a change to the health care system now, not in the fall. It was an interesting change of pace for Obama -- and we are interested to see how it plays out in the coverage.

------------------------------------
Anybody want to tell the child that the Senate version doesn't start up until 2012 and would have no effect today. Of course, since President Obama actually hasn't read the bills, this would be something expected.

Posted by: Paladin7b | July 22, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Yawn!

Posted by: annetta3 | July 22, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

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