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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:33 AM
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The Talking Points Few Noticed
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Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 08:50 AM by babylonsister
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

THE TALKING POINTS FEW NOTICED.... Dave Weigel tweeted this morning, "Oh, 'Morning Joe' cast, do you seriously think Obama didn't sell HCR as 'cost control' from the beginning? Were you in a coma?"

The cast of the MSNBC morning show aren't the only ones confused. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told the far-right Washington Times, "I wish the president would have started the debate by explaining to the American people that our current health care system is not financially sustainable, for even another decade. Driving down health care costs should have been the focus of the debate."

It was apparently quite a widespread coma.

Marc Ambinder valiantly tries to explain that this is "unreality."

The FIRST argument that the White House turned to about health care was about the cost of doing nothing.(It was Tom Daschle's formulation, actually, that Obama adopted during the campaign and the transition and the early part of this year.)

From December 22: ""Some may ask how at this moment of economic challenge we can afford to invest in reforming our health-care system. And I ask a different question. I ask how can we afford not to."


Progressive activists didn't like the obsessive focus on cost. And they believe that the president hemmed himself in by imposing a seemingly arbitrary $900 billion cap on costs over ten years.

The argument THEY wanted him to make--the liberal argument, if you will -- is a moral argument. People are getting sick and dying because they can't afford health care in a country of plenty. But Obama subordinated that argument to focus on cost.


This isn't a subjective question. Mark Warner and the "Morning Joe" cast may think the White House didn't emphasize the cost argument, but their collective memories aren't quite as reliable as transcripts.

In his first weekly address devoted exclusively to talking about health care, President Obama referenced the word "cost" 10 times, including the unambiguous line: "{T}he soaring costs of health care make our current course unsustainable." A week later, he delivered another weekly address, focused on nothing but health care costs: "The President has long noted that skyrocketing health care costs will be disastrous in terms of our long term national debt unless we pass real reform."

He went on to emphasize this argument in interviews, speeches, addresses, and statements. It was hard to miss.

This was a fundamental part of the pitch from the very beginning. Obama talked about costs on the campaign trail, as president-elect, and throughout the process. Maybe that was the right strategy, maybe not. But for relevant political players to pretend this reality never happened is absurd.


Steve Benen
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  -The Talking Points Few Noticed babylonsister  Nov-11-09 08:33 AM   #0 
  - That is Exactly What Bill Clinton Did  abluelady   Nov-11-09 08:43 AM   #1 
  - Both could've been pushed but pugs lie to the religious right about abortion and they sit on the sid  uponit7771   Nov-11-09 08:58 AM   #6 
  - Economic issues are morality issues. When children are hungrey, when  John Q. Citizen   Nov-11-09 09:02 AM   #8 
  - Absolutely  abluelady   Nov-11-09 09:47 AM   #10 
     - Because this bill is all about the money, for the health care industrial complex. It's isn't about  John Q. Citizen   Nov-11-09 10:28 AM   #14 
  - The people who care about it as a moral issue are already on our side.  Nicholas D Wolfwood   Nov-11-09 09:55 AM   #11 
     - But Maybe If We Were As Loud  abluelady   Nov-11-09 10:35 AM   #15 
        - In answer to your last part...  Nicholas D Wolfwood   Nov-11-09 11:25 AM   #16 
           - Excellent point.  Cha   Nov-11-09 01:30 PM   #20 
  - I noticed but it seems like some people would rather spread misinformation.  Kdillard   Nov-11-09 08:50 AM   #2 
  - There's no excuse for Warner not knowing this; as for the morning shmo  babylonsister   Nov-11-09 08:51 AM   #4 
     - Dems always have a problem with message unity. However you are right  Kdillard   Nov-11-09 09:02 AM   #7 
        - Maybe because the corporatemediawhoredom  Cha   Nov-11-09 01:32 PM   #21 
  - The Morning Joe cast is wrong 90 percent of the time for the  Phx_Dem   Nov-11-09 08:51 AM   #3 
  - Obama said cost control. But his solution doesn't contain cost control. That is the primary  John Q. Citizen   Nov-11-09 08:52 AM   #5 
  - The Problem was not whether Obams mentioned cost control  OHdem10   Nov-11-09 09:27 AM   #9 
  - Yes, well  BeFree   Nov-11-09 10:12 AM   #12 
  - Caught a couple of PBS Frontlines last night on how our costs compare globally.  jotsy   Nov-11-09 10:12 AM   #13 
  - Everyday folks, Politicians, Chat Room Philosophers.. all love their own version of the facts  Peacetrain   Nov-11-09 11:28 AM   #17 
  - Obama made health reform an economic issue from day one  ProSense   Nov-11-09 11:34 AM   #18 
  - I got it..why didn't they?  Cha   Nov-11-09 01:28 PM   #19 
  - Obama should start thinking about the "cost" to his re-election campaign because it's not looking  earth mom   Nov-11-09 02:30 PM   #22 
 

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