Rudy and Obama Engage In Health Care Flim-Flammery
Rudy was at it again today, on the stump in New Hampshire avoiding the critiques of his GOP rivals to lie to the base about Hillary's health care proposal.
Mere minutes into his first public event, the Republican ex-mayor was going off on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, mocking her health care plan by saying she believes Americans aren't smart enough to make decisions about their own treatment.
"Hillary bureaucrats are going to make those decisions for you," he said, assailing the Democrats as "pessimistic" and "defeatist."
These are the same “personal choice” misdirection arguments the GOP used against the Clinton administration back in 1993 to convince voters that they would lose control over their own health care by supporting any reform. Yet Giuliani uses the dated and false argument again to describe Clinton’s new plan, which contains plenty of consumer choice, and doesn’t affect consumers who are satisfied with their current coverage.
Of course Giuliani wants you to also overlook that if it weren’t for his government coverage back in 1999-2000, his current health reform plan would not have covered Rudy’s own cancer treatment.
Obama touted his health care plan today as being superior to Edwards’ and Clinton’s on cost containment. Yet even though his cost containment proposals are largely the same as Clinton’s, Obama has yet to explain how his plan does a better job when it leaves millions of adults without insurance, thereby shifting the cost of their unfunded eventual and emergency care onto the backs of those of us who are insured, making our health care premiums costlier than they need be. By undermining the risk pooling advantage behind universal health coverage, Obama engages in the same thing he attacks Hillary for all the time: he avoids the tough choice in order to not risk offending folks.
And then he continues to use GOP talking points against Clinton’s 1993-1994 effort:
The Illinois senator drew a distinction with Clinton on how he would go about pushing a universal health care plan. He routinely gives the New York senator credit for trying to overhaul health care as first lady, but says it failed largely because she was too secretive.
"What I am convinced of is if we actually hope to pass universal health care this time around we have to bring Republicans and Democrats together," said Obama. "We have to have an open and transparent process so that the American people participate in the debate and see exactly what we're doing."
As I have indicated previously, this is another lie which overlooks the fact that even before Hillary’s task force got deep into the process, the effort faced significant challenges that year. Democrats in Congress were split on the matter. More importantly, the GOP; its allies in the affected industries on K Street; the National Federation of Independent Businesses; and the US Chamber of Commerce plotted to kill any chance for universal health care in 2004, in order to deny the Democrats a valuable political trophy for the midterm elections. Yet Obama continues to blame Hillary totally for the failure, never mentioning the political environment that was stacked against the White House in that session.
Hillary should find a way to lead Obama into using health care reform as a topic against her at the next Democratic debate, so she can nail him for his baseless claims on cost containment, and why he doesn't want to take the tough stand on an individual mandate, something she alone among the top three is doing.