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September 28, 2016

Obama’s hypocritical take on health care

Leave it to President Barack Obama to pile on partisan attacks and deception with another one of his infamous speeches.

In front of a joint session of Congress, Obama addressed the nation on Wednesday trying to gather support from the American public for his health care reform effort. He was supposed to squash the concerns of the majority of Americans – 52 percent disapprove of the way Obama has handled health care, according to a recent Associated Press poll. He was supposed to show the American public what he envisioned and how it was going to get done without adding to our ever enlarging deficit.

 Instead, Obama took the usual Obama rout to addressing the masses, sounding more like a presidential candidate trying to get attention than a man who’s been president for almost a year. His speech lacked any significant substance and he spent most of the time attacking anybody and everybody who has provided opposition for his version of reform in recent weeks. He went as far as to completely disregard the legitimacy of his opposition’s concerns saying merely that, “Instead of honest debate, we’ve seen scare tactics.” That’s funny coming from the same guy who later in the speech threatened to call out anyone who he thought was misrepresenting his reform. Scaring people into silence? This is hypocrisy at its finest.

Health care reform doesn’t come down to what side you’re on. It comes down to common sense and basic intuition. If you apply either of these tools, you will realize Obama’s proposed radical overhauls to the system are flat-out ridiculous and doomed to fail

Everything government has control of is essentially a financial disaster and has led to many of the problems our country faces today. Take for instance, the Post Office, Medicare and Social Security.  They are all run by government and they are all bankrupt. Then there is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were Government-sponsored enterprises that were also supposed to be subject to government oversight. Unfortunately, corrupt officials such as Barney Frank never took the threat these firms posed to our economy seriously. When reform for these two companies was called for in 2000, Frank dismissed the reform saying the concerns were “overblown” and that “there is no financial liability there whatsoever.” Do we really want these people in charge of health care?

The handling of Hurricane Katrina is another example of government run mismanagement. There is only one certainty when government expands in this country: The projection government will give for its proposed spending on programs will be underestimated greatly. You can look at what government said it needed to fund food stamps, Medicare and Social Security if you don’t believe me. Obama has continued the trend of underestimated projections. In August, he admitted his 10-year projected budget deficit of $7.1 trillion was off by nearly $2 trillion. The actual projected 10-year deficit now is $9 trillion. I have no doubt he will underestimate health care as well.

Then there is Obama’s speech from Wednesday. He took hypocrisy to a level even I didn’t think he could achieve when he made the claim that he will not sign any health care reform that adds so much as a dime to the deficit. He later stated in the same speech that the healthcare reform he is proposing will cost $900 billion. How can this be done? According to Obama, “Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan.”

This was really said in his speech. That’s how he is going to pay for it, “reducing the waste and inefficiency.” Obama has either lost his mind or he is flat out lying. In either case this is a scary situation for our economy and the state of health care in this country.

But Obama didn’t feel the need to stop the lies right there. He also said, “The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies.”

So basically, what Obama is saying is that he and his administration know of approximately $900 billion worth of waste, inefficiency and fraud that are occurring and he is going to uncover all of that and use that money to pay for his health care reform.

Clearly if government knew how to eliminate $900 billion in waste it would have already.

I don’t even need to get into the real arguments conservatives are making against this version of health care reform to completely end the debate. Based on our government’s track record with the bankrupted Post Office, Medicare and Social Security, it’s pretty much a sure thing government run health care would end up inefficient at best and bankrupt at worst. There is no need to talk about radical reform because it is not practical in any regard. There is no need to continue to bicker or point fingers. This whole issue, much like any other liberal argument, is built on a foundation of nonsense.

Alex Perry is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at apery@student.umass.edu.

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