August 15, 2009

Blogging Obama Health Care Town Hall -- Colorado

C-Span archive of Colorado 8-15 Obama Town Hall on Health Care Reform.

I will offer an overview and some choice highlights.

My quotes are quick typing, rough paraphrases often (even parts in quotes at times):

This has been "It was an economy of bubbles and which, the average worker...their wages and incomes had flat lined for a decade...."

"We can't go back to that kind of economy."

"If we want this country to succeed in the 21rst century we have to lay a new foundation for lasting prosperity...and health insurance reform is a key pillar of this new foundation....This economy won't work...until companies aren't slashing pay for health insurance..."

Pay raises have disappeared into health care premiums.

"It's only natural this debate is going to be an emotional one."

"you can have 20 great town hall meetings, and if there is one where someone loses their temper, that's the one you see on TV"

Obama offers more specific examples of outrageous health insurance failure...

Obama reviews health insurance reform. Does a good job, clear, brief, well-explained. Actually interesting, and you want to listen, even if you know about it. (about 11-12 minutes in and on)

Nice, he emphasizes that "if you think this has nothing to do with you, think again" That's right. Everyone, including those with good on-the-job insurance are vulnerable now. Good work on Obama's part. He's going from good to great on this.

"I know there's some skepticism -- 'How are you going to save money in the health care system?' "

You're doing it right here in Grand Junction....(already. Grand Junction has an innovative setup that is effective in increasing quality and value)

"These struggles have always boiled down to a contest between hope and fear. It was true when Social Security was born...."

"For you to keep what you've got [in health care] going to require change.....premiums would continue to skyrocket, going up three times faster than wages..."

Obama begins taking questions:


Encouragingly, Obama is addressing the most important ultimate Health Care question -- Cost Inflation over long time periods.

Even better, he talked about examples of cooperative care like Mayo, Grand Junction, etc.

Obama seems better prepared in that he is talking from the big-picture now, including getting right to the real points of contention -- such as whether Government should be involved in anything, should be involved in health care at all, such as Medicare, etc.

Preventative Care! Yes! The plug was short and sounded good. I'll post it tomorrow some time.

Making Hospital statistics available to allow people to compare hospital effectiveness. "Comparison shop"

... Very Rough Paraphrases in quotes:

"There is no Magic Bullet" We can't all get "all the health care we want, for free"


Obama does a nice job of laying to rest the "death panels" rumor/lies and the implied "plot" to "sneak euthanasia" into reform --- he accurately labels these arguments against reform: these arguments "feel dishonest"

Obama handles this well I think, because he addresses the misrepresentations without attacking any individual doing so. He only references that some republicans supported similar provisions (to pay for consultations about end-of-life care) in the past. He's not going after an individual though.

This is the high road, and it's good for the nation for the president to take the high road.


We are only trying to be sure that the choices being made in the private marketplace (insurers) "aren't discriminating against people because they are sick"

That hospitals are incentivized for better success (less readmissions).


"We're going to have to overcome wrong information" (overcome intentional misrepresentations)

To eliminate the preexisting condition problem we have to also require all people to be covered (so that you can't just wait until you get sick to get insurance).


Obama is going for the Big Issue (for the nation, and in the underlying politics)...

The Budget deficit, and where exactly it comes from.

Good stuff.

We cannot solve the deficit unless we control the growth in the largest parts of spending -- Medicare, Medicaid, Defense spending...


Thankfully, Obama ended right there, on the most important point. Without further distraction.

The most important point is always the best end point.


Let me say we are very lucky to have this person as President.

Fixing so much severe mismanagement of our Nation over such a long period of years -- it isn't easy.

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