PatriotPost.US: Friday Edition Obamacare Takes Center Stage
ABC News is lending itself to the Obama administration for the night of Wednesday, June 24, for a live broadcast of ABC World News Tonight from the Blue Room of the White House. This will be followed by an hour-long primetime special entitled "Prescription for America," which will advocate the Obama health care plan. The Republican National Committee noted that with the absence of opposing views, the programming amounts to little more than a campaign commercial -- one that should rightly be paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
ABC predictably took offense and claimed that it will have complete editorial control over the content of the program. Or at least as much control as the White House wants them to have. As columnist Cal Thomas observes, "By the way, guess who's the new director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform. It's former ABC News correspondent Linda Douglass, who left journalism last year to join the Obama campaign." How convenient.
The network claims it will have "thoughtful" and "diverse" perspectives on the plan, but one noteworthy absence is "20/20" anchor John Stossel, who will not be participating. A pity, too, for if anyone at ABC has the requisite "thoughtful" and "diverse" perspective, it's Stossel. (See his 2007 health care report for more.)
Obama's reason for taking to the airwaves is that his proposal is facing stiffer opposition than anticipated. First, his estimate of $634 billion over 10 years is wildly optimistic. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the plan will cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years and "result in a net increase in the federal budget deficits of about $1 trillion," despite Obama's reassurance that his reform (read: takeover) "will not add to our deficit over the next 10 years." Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) promised to cut $600 billion from the proposal and to pay for it with tax increases, spending cuts and other offsets. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) said the plan includes $600 billion in tax hikes and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Furthermore, the CBO estimates that 23 million Americans will lose the insurance they currently have, contrary to Obama's key promise that no one will lose insurance. "[T]he number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million," the report says.
The CBO estimate is so ugly for Democrats, The Hill reports, that "lawmakers are talking about changing the chamber's normal accounting procedures," substituting estimates from the White House Office of Management and Budget for those of the CBO. So much for "transparency."
Considering the whole of Obamacare, one Patriot reader declared, "I haven't heard health care advice so laughable since Lucille Ball flogged Vitameatavegamin on TV. 'It's so tasty too. It's just like candy.' Has our president been hitting the Vitameatavegamin bottle himself? Not to worry, though. Even though socialized medicine has proven an abject failure in every venue trying it, the United States is such a big country that, like Lucy and Ethel selling homemade salad dressing below the cost of their ingredients, no doubt 'We'll make it up in volume.'"