Obama killing Health Care Reform all by himself


Barack Obama gave what was supposed to be a seminal speech on health care reform before a joint session of congress. The speech that was supposed to put health care reform “back on the road” to success has instead thrown a rock through the windshield. Following up the speech aimed to please the already converted, the Democrats sucked out whatever bi-partisan air there might have been in the room. Their silly partisan antic of an official “house rebuke” of Joe Wilson turned a backbencher into a political hero. And the lack of distance Democrats have chosen for themselves from a failed ex-President who characterizes citizens disagreeing with the actions of their commander-in-chief as “based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American” has exhausted even the deepest well of patience.

Obama’s speech has driven opposition to Obamacare Reform to an all time high of 56%, up 5 points from the day of the Presidents speech on September 9th. See, the American people don’t like to be misled and they don’t appreciate misdirection. They can overlook it. One of the reasons I liked listening to Bill Clinton (on June 14, 1997, I travelled several hours to hear him give a speech on race at UC San Diego) was that you sort of liked the sly scoundrel, enjoyed watching him get away with things. You knew who Bill Clinton was. Savior he was not. Obama is the redeemer and he does not pass off double speak so well, nor is he forgiven for it.

In his New York Times Op Ed article on Health Care Reform and in his speech to the joint session of Congress, Obama mentions a man who has insurance and then has it cancelled because evidence of gall stones and an aneurysm showed up in an old CT scan his doctor never mentioned, and that because of this, this man died.

This is a lie.

You can read for yourself the transcript of the hearing in which the sister of the man recounts what happened.

The mans insurance was rescinded temporarily. But in fact, the insurance company re-instated his policy within the three to four week window for his surgery and the man was given the stem cell treatment that extended his life several more years. He is dead today, but he did not die because of insurance rescision. His sister testified before Congress about the event the President cites and she said that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week “window of opportunity” from “one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine,” that the procedure “was extremely successful,” and that “it extended his life nearly three and a half years.”

President Obama then followed this fabrication up with a whopper about a woman from Texas who was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. In fact, her dermatologist described her skin condition as pre-cancerous. She also had been treated for an irregular heartbeat which had not been disclosed. As well, she misrepresented her weight on her application. All of these things represent mis-statements on things that insurance companies rely on when determining rates. Like if you said you were driving a 1990 Geo instead of a 2004 BMW, details matter.

Now, I’m glad that both of these people received their health care treatments. But most states historically see these as material misrepresentations or concealments, which are grounds for contract annulment. You think they should change the law, maybe I think they should change the law. But that’s the law.

More importantly, these  two cases were identified as being “among the most egregious” and made it to Congressional Hearings as a result. They were identified by Congressional Staffers Analysis of 116,000 pages of documents, and over 20,000 rescisions among millions of policies issued over a five year period. Less than 1/2 of one percent of policies were ever rescinded for cause.

Barack Obama did no service to those who truly lose their insurance because of corporate negligence. Certainly it happens. He also gives light to the urban myth that people lose their insurance when they get sick “out of the blue” as a matter of course.

It just ain’t so.

About Terry Crowley