The Obama Watch

The Blair House Witch Project

Obama's summit goal is to convince Republicans that half a tablet of poison is better than none.

By 2.25.10

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The middle distance between truth and error is still error, but Barack Obama can't even get there. He is the self-appointed custodian of "common ground" while not moving an inch towards it, as evidenced by the fact that the most controversial element in his plan, abortion funding, remained in it up to the day of the summit.

That Obama considers the taking of unborn life essential to "health care" explodes the conceit of the whole discussion, namely, his great concern, supposedly superior to the concern of Republicans, for the lives and welfare of the American people. He tosses and turns at night worrying about the "uninsured" while recalcitrant Republicans just don't care about them, according to the media-approved narrative.

But why should the American people entrust their health care to a president who doesn't even believe in the Hippocratic Oath? Why should the enfeebled trust a party that prides itself on snuffing out the life of Terri Schiavo?

It is not at all clear why the Democrats should enjoy the moral high ground on health care. At least the Republican proposals don't involve killing anyone.

Neither the motives nor the means of pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia Democrats should inspire any confidence. Even if one were to suppose that they cared about the "30 million uninsured" any more than the 30 million babies dead from Roe policies, why should anyone assume the means they propose to cover the uninsured would actually do so?

Ineffective means render good motives irrelevant. Every claim that Obama makes would mean in reality its opposite. His heavy-handed means to "expand care" would result in less of it through rationing and the alienation and bankrupting of doctors, nurses, and health care providers. His means of "cutting costs" would saddle already bloated entitlement programs with soaring new ones. His formula for taxing some would guarantee taxing all.

Whenever Obama is forced to describe in detail what he is actually proposing, it becomes clear that his goal is not expanded coverage but expanded control. "Covering the uninsured" by the best means and covering the uninsured on terms approved by the federal government and the special interests of the Democratic Party are two vastly different things.

Hence, Obama opposes tort reform, even though that would eliminate the costs of defensive medicine, and opposes competition across state lines, even though that would free up affordable plans to millions.

In his faux-fair style, Obama grandly says he will consider Republican proposals to increase coverage, provided he gets to graft onto them regulatory apparatus that renders them ineffectual. Unless the federal government's finger is wedged into the pie somehow, he is just not interested.

Given the choice between expanded opportunity and government regulation, the Democrats always choose the latter. Just as they would rather see fewer children educated (in a real sense), lest support for homeschooling, vouchers, and private education threaten their governmental and union interests, so they don't mind if people go uncovered, lest support for flourishing competition diminish the reach of bureaucrats.

So even though millions of people could get affordable coverage by shopping for it across state lines, Obama still won't support the idea. He only wants them insured on his terms. He will determine the "fairness" of their coverage.

The idea of a summit was a sham from the start. Half a loaf is not better than none if it is salted with poison. And only a politician as hubristic as Obama would propose to resolve disputes about the takeover of one-sixth of America's economy over six hours of posturing and a buffet lunch.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.