May 14, 2009

Oy. Are Democrats simply incapable of doing the right thing, of choosing the right policies because they are the right policies, and then standing behind them while they educate the public? No, what they invariably do is to hack away at their own policies in a vain attempt to keep the Republicans from beating them up. Don't let them do it again with health care reform:

WASHINGTON — Alarmed at Republican attacks on President Obama’s health care proposals, Senate Democrats huddled Wednesday with White House officials to formulate a response.

Democrats said they felt an urgent need to devise a “message” to answer Republicans assertions that Mr. Obama’s proposals could lead to “a Washington takeover of health care.”

Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, said many Democrats felt “unease that we did not have a strategy” to answer the criticism coming from Republican members of Congress and Republican consultants like Frank I. Luntz, an expert on the language of politics.

[...] Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the Finance Committee and an architect of the emerging legislation, said Democrats would counter such criticism by insisting that consumers would have an unfettered right to pick doctors and insurers.

“You can choose your own doctor,” Mr. Baucus said. “You can choose your own health plan. There’s total choice here. I do not want to say this defensively, but this is not a big government plan.”

Uh, Max? You just did say it defensively. You're acting as if fixing this massive problem is something you should apologize for.

Mr. Baucus said Mr. Axelrod had offered suggestions on how to communicate, using “words that work” and avoiding “words that don’t work.”

Rather than talk about a mandate requiring individuals or employers to buy insurance, Mr. Baucus said, Democrats intend to emphasize the idea of “shared responsibility.”

"Shared responsibility"? I hope that doesn't mean what it sounds like. Because I swear to God, if the best they have to offer is a mandate, I'm done with these people.

Obama should go on TV and tell the real truth:

"Look, the economy is crashing and burning because health care costs are dragging down businesses and, as a result, families, and we've come up with a plan to fix that which won't require you to spend one red cent out of pocket and won't require you to fill out large amounts of paperwork. Our opponents are calling that socialism, government-run healthcare. Well, that's exactly what they said in 1935 when President Franklin Roosevelt created Social Security. That's what they said in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson created Medicare.

"That's because whenever a president tries to use the power of the government to help you, the people, in your daily life, the opposition tries to scare you.'Oo, big scary government taking over your healthcare!' As if everyone in this country had affordable health coverage already; as if people's claims weren't already being denied or the tests they need not being approved. As if, for example, your private policy's cancer coverage didn't already stop after a limited number of those very expensive treatments.

"Seems to me that the only people who really like the present insurance system are the people who haven't actually had to use it for a serious illness.

"People, this is no longer optional. For the foreseeable future, we simply can't afford the 30% administrative overhead of private insurance for the country as a whole. The economy is bleeding jobs, and health care costs are the single biggest factor. We have to stop the bleeding, and we need to get those jobs back, for you and everyone else.

"No matter what our friends in the opposition tell you, this isn't about choosing your doctor for you. Your doctor will accept this just like any other insurance.

"So I ask for your help and support with this new plan. In exchange for that, I promise you that paying for the proper health care you need will be one less thing your family will have to worry about."

There's your message, morons. Stop apologizing.

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