I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems like we’ve been debating this health care reform bills since before Madonna slept with her first record company executive. Public options, mandatory insurance buys, pre-existing conditions…the whole thing has become mind-numbing. But every now and again a good story comes along to illustrate just how ridiculous the debate really is.
Danny Williams, esteemed premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, left the Canadian health care system far behind to receive minimally invasive mitral valve heart surgery in the United States. The people of America should send Mr. Williams a combination get well/thank you card for inadvertently divulging how politicians, regardless of country of origin, view themselves in relation to those they govern.
Newfoundland and Labrador may be considered the “Far East of the Western World, renowned for friendly people, marine wildlife and stunning seacoasts.” Of late, thanks to Danny Williams, the scenic region has also become notorious for long medical wait times and archaic cardiac surgery.
That may be why Newfoundland and Labrador’s premier chose to forgo Canada’s government Medical Care Plan, pay out of pocket, and head south of the border to place his life in an American heart surgeon’s care. Premier Williams was well “aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but concluded personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.” In defense of Williams, Newfoundland and Labrador’s deputy premier Katy Dunderdale said, “He’s doing what’s best for him.”
Heh. “What’s best for him”. Funny how what’s best for Premier Williams is a modern cardiac procedure that he can more easily receive in the health care hell that is Miami, Florida. Next up-Candadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will journey to Hackensack, New Jersey to get a plantar’s wart lasered off his foot.
Will the last upper middle class and/or politically connected Canuckistani medical tourist please turn off the lights on the totally awesome Canadian health care system?
Lefty politicians have been pissing and moaning about America’s supposedly wretched health care system for decades. Yet, even as US medicine is allegedly crumbling beneath us, well-to-do foreigners still take their health into their own hands and come to scary America for their surgeries. Tell me again why we have to implode our health care system and make it look like the socialist wet-dreams found in Canada and Europe.
That’s one of the reasons why the health care summit back in Washington DC is just silly. The White House decided it would be a good idea to put a bipartisan face on the health care reform debate and have a kumbaya campfire with Congress. Yesterday’s festivities went really well…if you weren’t Barack Obama.
Representative Paul Ryan seemed to have some fun at the President’s expense.
The amazing thing is just how easily Ryan took apart the Senate health care plan, using Obama’s own words as a crow-bar in the process. Candidate Barry ran as a fiscal moderate in order to keep skeptical independents on board. To make that head-fake work, Obama had to say a lot of stuff about controlling deficits and spending cuts; the sort of rhetoric that gives the Concord Coalition-types a big fat chubby. As the Ryan clip so eloquently illustrates, if the President was even sorta serious about being a deficit hawk during the campaign, he’d reject the Senate scheme even before the ink was dry on the bill. Basically, Congressman Ryan called Obama…in the nicest, most civil terms possible…a liar right to Barry’s face. All the President could do is sit there and take it on the chin. Amazing.
When Captain PantsCrease wasn’t busy getting his cheese-dick campaign rhetoric fed back to him by upstart Representatives, he was occupied by asserting his awesomeness on everybody else.
Basically, Mr. Obama invited the GOPer’s over for a campaign commercial. Then he tried to sell it as a conversation. We’ve got a serious lack of graciousness from our President/party host. But at least Obama didn’t do anything really uncouth like pick his nose on national television.
Keep digging for gold, Barry. Wish for socialized medicine in one hand and collect boogers in another, then see which palm fills up first.
Besides the image of the President snagging a bogey out of his nostril for all to see, the overall impression of the summit were really bad for Obama. The Republicans came off as reasonable and very nearly human, not the strident “Party of No” goons that the lefty media keeps insisting they are. Better still, it was clear the GOPers had done their homework. Congressman Ryan was especially wonky but without being boring. On the other hand, the Democrats were armed with little more than sad-faced anecdotes and petulant annoyance. Sure they got to filibuster, but they get to do that in Congress anyway. It seemed like Pelosi and Reid would’ve rather been at an NRA pep rally than at the health care summit.
Worse than all that, St. Bambi gave the impression that he really didn’t like being challenged. Instead of being the post-partisan Jesus figure, Obama looked like an annoyed debate squad teacher aggravated by a bunch of wise-ass sophomores giving him a hard time. The health care summit lowered Obama onto the same level as Congress. Ironically, the guy that couldn’t wait to get out of the Senate seemed like little more than the moderator of a Senate debate rather than the President of the United States.
I’ll be honest. I thought this health care summit thing was going to be a disaster for the Republicans. I didn’t think they could keep their egos in check and rise to the challenge. Moreover, I was pretty sure Obama’s mad bullshit skillz would get him through what on paper seemed like a gab-fest campaign ad dressed up to look like a policy debate. Instead, the summit got out of hand and Obama ended up getting creamed.
I can guarantee that the Axelrod and the rest of Team Bambi will never let this type of event happen again. Unlike a rigged pep rally, the astroturfers couldn’t plant questions or stage photo-shops to make Obama look like the soooper-jeeenius he thinks he is. From here on in, Obama will only be put into situations where the outcome has already been pre-determined. The big lesson to take away from the health care summit is that the President is utterly incapable of graciously handling dissent or thinking beyond his talking points.