President Obama kicked off his health care road show this morning with a speech to students at Arcadia University outside of Philadelphia. “I’m fired up,” Obama declared in the campaign-style rally during which, ironically, he blasted pundits in Washington for being too focused on politics and elections.
He made a closing argument more or less along the lines of his speech last week, complete with the disengenous deficit reduction and cost containment claims as well as the boast that new subsidies translate into the largest middle class tax cut in history. (This even though the plan would force uninsured middle class Americans to either purchase expensive government-approved health insurance, or pay a tax.) One new false claim Obama made was to argue that free market reforms aimed at lowering health insurance premiums by scaling back benefit mandates had already been tried before.
Ultimately, he tried to argue that Washington was too focused on how passing the bill would affect Democrats’ political prospects and not whether passing it was right. Of course, left out of this analysis is that the public has overwhelmingly decided that passing the bill would be wrong — a fact that has been demonstrated in numerous polls, as well as that election in Massachusetts that you may have heard something about.
By far, the most depressing aspect of the speech was the fact that Obama seemed to receive his largest applause (as far as I could tell watching on TV) when he said that the health care bill would require insurers to let individuals stay on their parents’ health care policies until they are 26 years old. Yay for dependency!