[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]
President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:
I. Keep the health insurance you have now.
1. Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.
2. No spending caps set by insurance companies.
3. No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.
4. Limit on out of pocket expense.
5. Minimal requirements of coverage.
II. Public Option & Exchange
1. When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.
2. Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.
3. Tax credits for small businesses.
4. In theory this will not lead to a government take over.
III. Penalty for those that don’t choose coverage.
1. Required to carry basic health insurance, ie, Public Option or Exchange.
2. This penalty, in theory, will lower cost of health insurance.
President Obama then, in my opinion, made the political miscalculation of this young century. He went after Fox News, Talk Radio, and singled out Sarah Palin for questioning the specifics contained in both the House and Senate Health Care bills. Pretty vindictive and unconstructive. President Obama belittled the office of the Presidency with primary school taunting.
He then went into the funding of his health care plan.
He made a read my lips moment by declaring that there will be absolutely be no deficit spending.
How? By cutting $623 Billion in Medicaire cuts. He phrased it as scaling back on wasteful spending.
Then in a bizarre moment President Obama then blamed President Bush again for him inheriting a bloated deficit.
Finally President Obama played the Paul Welstone card by recalling the death of Senator Ted Kennedy and his wish for Universal Health Care.
He ended by saying that he will listen to what the Republicans want in the bill, but basically a health care bill will be pushed through with or without the Republicans.
Public Option Note: He will offer this for those that cannot afford even the most basic health care insurance in the Health Care Exchange he proposed. He chastized those that would dare say the Public Option would eventually take over the Health Insurance Industry.
Last Things: President Obama will address tort reform with the Republicans but would not commit to adding this to the final bill. He also said there will be no government funded abortions in any health care bill (I’ll believe it when I read the final bill). Finally he stated that illegal aliens will not be covered with any insurance coverage.
For previous posting previewing this speech click here.
Update I: If you noticed during the speech a few Republicans were waving a pamphlet. That pamphlet were the Republican proposals that have been offered, up to 32 I believe, to the Obama administration since President Obama’s term as president began. So all of his pronouncements that the Republicans have no ideas nor plans have been disingenuous. Hence why the Republicans were waving those pamphlets.
Update II: With President Obama saying that there will be no federal funds used towards abortion, he again was being disingenuous, and I might say a lier. Deal Hudson eloquently states why President Obama is being disingenuous:
Did he answer the challenge of the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue and address head-on the issue of abortion? Not really — he just repeated what he has said before: “No federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.” Yet, as Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, explains, “Obama brazenly misrepresented the abortion-related component of the health care legislation that his congressional allies and staff have crafted.”
Johnson points out that the present legislation requires anyone enrolled in the government plan to pay premiums “calculated to cover the cost of all elective abortions — this would not be optional.” In other words, Obama is not calling these premiums “federal funds,” because they are not taxes. But, as Johnson says, “These are merely two types of public funds, collected and spent by government agencies.
“Want further proof that Obama is misrepresenting the reform? Obama and others in the Democratic leadership have been unwilling to support amendments clearly stipulating the very thing the president says is already the case: that no federal dollars will pay for abortion.
President Obama added a comment on another issue of interest to Catholics, saying that “federal conscience laws will remain in place.” Obama didn’t mention that on March 6 he removed the conscience protection for pro-life medical personnel put in place at the end of Bush’s second term, leaving nothing in its place.
To read the rest of what Deal Hudson wrote over at InsideCatholic.com click here.