1000 Questions

I’ve been trying desperately to understand this new push by the senate to get a public option passed through reconciliation.

Did the Administration and the Senate grow something, give the insurance industry just enough rope to hang itself, or was this simply a trap?

Did the insurance industry underestimate the current administration and congress’ ability to successfully address health insurance reform? Did it get played like a fiddle by this administration and congress? Did it act too soon by falling prey to the very greed that has driven this industry for years?

Did the insurance industry have just enough disdain and arrogance that it figured it could start gouging consumers long before the ink was dry on the death certificate of health insurance reform? Did it hedge its bet that it couldn’t lose in the health insurance reform debate? Did it make the calculated bet that the worse that would happen if reform failed would be that it would be left with the ability to raise premiums and to deny and drop coverage indiscriminately? Did it bet that if reform passed that it would not have a public option and a 30 million new customer jackpot would be hit with all obligated by law to purchase health insurance at whatever the market rate set by the insurance industry?

Did the insurance industry get caught believing the 24×7 hype about the struggles surrounding reform? Did it get trapped reading and listening to all of the negative information designed to motivate and drive the failure of Barack Obama, his administration, and oh by the way health insurance reform? Was it fooled into thinking that Jim DeMint and his gang of saboteurs could successfully defeat reform and bring Barack Obama to his waterloo?

Was the behavior of Anthem Blue Cross of California and the reports of its 30 to 39 percent major rate hike affecting 800, 000 policyholders really a harbinger of rising premiums?

Or was this the behavior that the administration and congress needed in order to move forward with health insurance reform?

And now Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce legislation that would bar insurance companies from enacting premium increases that the government deems unjustified.

Are we just lucky or is there something to this?

wildweezle (© Wildweezle Enterprises 2010, all rights reserved.)

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Has the President Lost Control of the Insurance Reform Debate?

Yes he has!

And not for the reasons you think.

The President is fighting an uphill battle against a very formidable multi-headed opponent led by the big corporations. He can only count on the rag-tag group of support from Main Street.

The President needs to realize that he has entered into an extremely difficult phase of this battle now that another head of the enemy has shown his face this week. That enemy is the “progressive” component of the PROFIT MEDIA which is comprised of two components a “right” and a “left”. Like PROFIT INSURANCE COMPANIES the PROFIT MEDIA is ultimately driven to make profits and is not beholden to anyone or any cause. Nowhere was that more evident than this week.

This week in the “left” or “progressive” news media, we saw the “progressive” brain trust suffer a massive cerebral hemorrhage which led to a complete meltdown.  This was all brought about by statements made by President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius about the Public Option (PO). The “progressive” media decided sometime ago that the PO component of insurance reform was going to be the be-all end-all of insurance reform. This means that the only conversations they want to have about insurance reform has to start and end with the PO and IT ALONE!

When the President and the Secretary of HHS mentioned this weekend that the PO wasn’t the sum total of insurance reform the “progressive” media lost its collective mind. Or it gave the impression that it did.  😉

Both the President and his aides have been harangued over what the “progressive” media has interpreted as shying away from an insistence on a PO after saying that the public option is only a sliver of total insurance reform. One could argue that different words could have been used but the context of the discussion that both the President and the Secretary of Health and Human services were having was total reform of the insurance industry which includes several components and that no one component was more important than the other.

The President has consistently said that he would not sign a bill into law that didn’t include a PO and has never rescinded this tenet. The “progressive” media spun out of control and may have caused more damage to the insurance reform initiative than any of the other tactics to date such as the town-hall disruptions, misinformation campaigns, and legislative stalling. The “progressive” media has taken four sentences and insist that it understands exactly what the President and the Secretary of HHS were thinking and implying regardless of their explanations. This is so reminiscent of the Rev. Wright debate where the entire media took one sentence out of context in the totality of a sermon and completely demonized the preacher in an attempt to discredit Barack Obama.

So after a week of taking statements out of context and insinuating decisions and conclusions on behalf of the President, the “progressive” media has been asking “Has the President lost control of the insurance/healthcare debate”? What kind of question is that? It’s like an Air Traffic Controller asking if a particular airplane is flying off course when he is sitting in front of the radar display. Isn’t it the job of the media to go out and mine for information and deliver it? Maybe if the “progressive” media stops worrying about the LIES that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck spew forth on a daily basis we could get some actionable information from the so-called “progressive” media which seems to have turn into a gang of clowns lately. You can’t tune into a single “progressive” news show without having to listen to valuable time being spent on right-wing LIARS and HYPOCRITES and lately we’ve had to listen to the un-doings of the President and the insurance reform movement.

When it comes to insurance reform the only thing we hear from the “progressives” is the PO. We haven’t heard a thing about the other components of the insurance reform initiative which the President was talking about over the weekend, the very thing that the “progressive” media took out of context. We have a lot to do in transforming our insurance industry and it isn’t just about the PO. The President simply wanted to make sure that we were focused and not overlooking other critical components in deference to others.

This week has been a good week to see the full Yin Yang of media operations. For the past month the “right” media has been talking about how the Republicans/Conservatives have taken control of the insurance/healthcare debate through the spewing forth of LIES, making claims, and elevating visibility of disruptions at town hall meetings. The “progressive” media (which apparently listen to these LIES) then reacts with questions about whether the President has lost control of the insurance/healthcare debate. Rather than waste our time addressing LIES, INNUENDOS, and DISTORTIONS the “progressive” media should be using that time to inform us on what is real in the progression of insurance reform transformation.

Let there be no mistake, the “right” is in command of the messages that we hear in the media. It sets the tone for the conversations we hear and participate in. The “progressive” media at best plays the wimpy competition that can never win but is there at the behest of the “right” media. It is similar to the Washington Generals who played the incredibly ineffective opposition as foils for the Harlem Globetrotters. What is sad is that many of us believe we can count on the information that we are receiving from “progressive” media outlets.

It has been disturbing listening to the “progressive” media say that the President is getting back on message when in fact not a single one can point to any statement that the President has made where he backed away from his original tenets for insurance reform. The only thing the “progressive’ media can point to are two statements which in the mind of this COMMON CITIZEN were totally taken out of context and in my opinion is a clear indication that the “progressive media cannot be trusted or counted on for information delivery. Maybe the President is being smart by engaging Michael Smerconish, Faith-based groups, and continuing to fight for bi-partisanship in his pursuit of insurance reform. Especially if the “progressive media continues to acts in this manner.

I’m afraid that our President must remain a Statesman at all costs. He must tolerate this behavior whether it is the news media taking things out of context because it knows that a ruckus will drive up listeners or a student who has an agenda to show that he is more knowledgeable on the topic of insurance reform than the President much so that he actually challenged the president to an Oxford style debate.

Student Zach Lahn had two talking points he needed to deliver at the Boulder, CO town hall meeting; the first talking point was that he didn’t want any generalities, or philosophical arguments from the President as a response. This comment was designed to put the President in his place and to make a point that somehow the President had not been clear and succinct in his previous answers; the second talking point was the question over how a private entity could compete with a government initiative.

The student was completely schooled in the first sentence of the President’s response and probably still to this day doesn’t realize it. The President said, “I’ve answered the question ONCE before” but apparently the student just didn’t realize it and yet he issued a challenge to debate the President on this topic. The President called his behavior confidence, I call it foolishness. Student Zach Lahn doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.

The President in his statesmanship once again answered the question. He told the student that a framework would be put in place to ensure that the Public Option would conduct business as if it were a private enterprise. This would prevent it from strangling the competition because it had the unlimited assets of the US Government backing it or bailed out if it were to get into trouble because it wasn’t being run efficiently or effectively.

It does take a basic understanding of enterprise thinking in order to realize that the answer given was complete as it had been before. It was clear that the student who wants to challenge someone to a debate over this topic was either missing some of the fundamentals necessary to grasp enterprise initiatives or just doesn’t understand. I would suggest that instead of challenging the President to a debate on this topic that the student collaborate with some of his fellow students to develop a framework, model, or methodology that could be employed to ensure that a Public Option is run like a successful private business. (Instead of looking for a fight that he really isn’t equipped to fight).

So when we hear the “progressive” media constantly asking us if the President has lost control of the insurance reform message, the answer is a RESOUNDING YES because quite frankly the question is a red herring. The Presient might have a communication problem.

wildweezle(© Wildweezle Enterprises)