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Joe Wilson lost his manners but the president wiggled the truth about healthcare reform

by Kay B. Day

Wednesday evening as I watched President Barack Obama deliver another speech with his customary polish, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and I responded simultaneously to Obama’s statement no federal dollars will fund illegals’ healthcare. Wilson yelled, “You lie!” I grumbled, Borat-style, “NOT!”

On the follow-up, Red State beat me to the draw in part, but there’s a wee problem with the president’s statement.

For starters Erick Erickson is right about this when he says: “The Democrats have blocked specific Republican attempts to require citizenship verification to get on the government plan. Why? The State Medicaid agencies are given the ability to set eligibility standards for the low income subsidies that will be used for the plan. And they have no incentive not to enroll illegal aliens, particularly since it’s a 100% federal match.”

Thus there’s actually an incentive for states to provide medical care, not just to illegals, but to anyone because of the match.

As my frequent readers know, there is also a fatuous provision in HR 3200 that creates a loophole of sorts. I’ve cited it often because it’s similar to the standards that got the US into deep water on lending. Section 1203, ‘Eliminating Barriers to Enrollment,’ stipulates, for the low-income subsidy program, “an individual shall be permitted to apply on the basis of self-certification of income and resources; and`(II) matters attested to in the application shall be subject to appropriate methods of verification without the need of the individual to provide additional documentation, except in extraordinary situations as determined by the Commissioner.”

As those with even substandard reading comprehension can tell, section 1203 opens a big door. When Obama issued the guarantee, he wiggled the truth, opting to make a political statement rather than a completely accurate statement.

Earlier the president had included the usual ‘I inherited a mess’ stance, and he apparently has no memory of the mess Bush 43 inherited from his predecessor.

For telling the truth, Erickson received a letter saying, “Today McDonald’s will receive no fewer then [sic] 500 calls about their advertising on your web site.”

And as various pundits including the indefatigable Drudge have pointed out, Bush was jeered and booed by not just one Democrat, but a herd of them in 2005. And of course when Dems talk about the deficit incurred during Bush’s term, they acknowledge including war costs even though now they all appear to disagree with Afghanistan and Iraq. Few did, by the way, in the aftermath of September 11.

Obama also promised to “protect Medicare” by making it more efficient and by reducing waste. Medicare premiums have risen dramatically under the last 2 administrations, and things aren’t looking good for Medicare Advantage either. Whatever legislation passes will not kick in immediately. Even if he serves a second term, Obama will not be in office when the purse strings for entitlement programs contract to a point where Congress will take the easy way out and push for significant tax increases. A president can only protect any program for a limited time.

Obama took the position scare tactics have been used by skeptics in the healthcare debate.

Throughout all his speeches, the president has not once cited a specific section from HR 3200 or any of the other bills. Protesters have been vocal and for their demonstrations, have been vilified by media and Democrats, many of whom appear not to have even read HR 3200.

I do not believe this Congress, under the current ageing out-of-touch leadership, is capable of real healthcare reform, not the reform the American people want. The best I am hoping for is accessibility for American citizens shut off from the insurance market because of a lack of choices in policy offerings, a lack of availability in the open market and a lack of affordability for those who work. The entitlement class the Progressive Caucus preaches to will be covered no matter what happens. The administration and the Congress basically govern from the standpoint of the entitlement class despite already enacting taxes and passing legislation like Waxman-Markey (HR 2454) that will hit any American’s disposable income, poor or rich. As I like to say, when the rich have it hard, the poor have it harder.

As for illegals, they already receive medical care. Some say, “No! They receive trauma care.” Borat echo: NOT! Because a person without documentation often goes to the emergency room whether it’s for an ear infection or a broken bone. Many immigrants come here to bear children because their own country provides minimal healthcare, no opportunity and no stability. A public option will enlarge the target on the US taxpayer’s back, and will further wiggle the truth the president manipulated during his address. This would not be a problem if Congress had enacted a responsible guest worker program and if our border were secure.

I concede Wilson was rude, as were the Democrats who jeered Bush. That by the way is called politics. No real harm done.

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