You remember 2003, right? We all knew what Dubya and his poodle were up to (and I don’t like calling Tony Blair that, since he’s yet another infinitely better person than Dubya who has utterly soiled himself by “lying down” with Bushco), but most of us figured “well, Dubya is the president, and he must know something we don’t,” so we went along with him (and how about this that has just come out, by the way?). I mean, I didn’t – honestly – but I know plenty of other people smarter than me who did.
Well, I seem to recall that Dubya, in the ’03 SOTU address, said something exactly like this:
Our second goal is high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. (Applause.) The American system of medicine is a model of skill and innovation, with a pace of discovery that is adding good years to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs too much -- and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. (Applause.)From this “Common Dreams” article…
Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy, choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need. (Applause.) Instead of bureaucrats and trial lawyers and HMOs, we must put doctors and nurses and patients back in charge of American medicine. (Applause.)
Health care reform must begin with Medicare; Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. (Applause.) We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America.
It’s the same with senior citizens and Medicare. Bush won our sympathy with bold words: "Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society." He then lied, calling a nationalized health care system one that "dictates coverage and rations care." But it is precisely the current system of private insurance companies and HMOs that dictates coverage and limits care – and that’s why we need health insurance reform.
Bush then promised senior citizens lower costs for pharmaceutical drugs, but with a catch. To get this benefit, seniors must leave Medicare for private HMOs and other insurance plans. The wealthy can afford that (they already have private plans to supplement their basic Medicare coverage). With Bush’s plan, they will reap additional savings on pharmaceutical costs. Meanwhile, the majority of senior citizens, dependent upon Medicare, will be left with the high pharmaceutical prices in a public system stripped of its universal application and its government support. The $400 billion that Bush proposes to pump into the system will not go into the universal Medicare program; it’s simply a government subsidy to the pharmaceutical companies and private insurance companies that will prosper under Bush’s misnamed and bogus Medicare reform.
Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is. (Applause.) And just like you -- the members of Congress, and your staffs, and other federal employees -- all seniors should have the choice of a health care plan that provides prescription drugs. (Applause.)Really? Marie Cocco begs to differ.
My budget will commit an additional $400 billion over the next decade to reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of both political parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare. I urge the members of this new Congress to act this year. (Applause.)
And how about this?
To improve our health care system, we must address one of the prime causes of higher cost, the constant threat that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. (Applause.) Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care, and many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit. I urge the Congress to pass medical liability reform. (Applause.)By the way, the next time you hear Bush or one of his apologists crowing about “Frivolous lawsuits,” I would ask that you consider this (knowing that the tort deform for class action lawsuits has already passed, unfortunately, which will undoubtedly hurt those litigants in the Christie Todd Whitman post below).