H2: 09/29/09 Calls

09290902 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 2 – Hugh takes calls from senior citizens worried about what Obamacare is going to do to them.

Click to Listen

H1: 09/29/09 Eric Handler, James Hirsen

09290901 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 1 – Hugh talks about the Swine flu and how to prepare against the next wave of it with Dr. Eric Handler, then talks why the Roman Polanski arrest and extradition is a big deal with James Hirsen.

Click to Listen

Running the Baucus Railroad

Montana’s Max Baucus is in a hurry to get the highway robbery of American seniors’ health care benefits over and done with, and so he’s using jam-down tactics in his Senate Finance Committee. Arizona’s Jon Kyl is standing up against the attempt to blow the seizure of $500 billion in seniors’ medical dollars, but Baucus is aiming to shut the process down and jam down the bill this week. Politico has the details.

There isn’t a lick of tort reform in the Baucus bill, which is one reason why seniors should be wondering why they have to bleed but the plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t.

The list of Blue Dog Democrats and Senators facing re-election is below. Call as many senators as you can today, and start with Senator Baucus’ office. 202-224-3121. If seniors sit on their hands this week and next, they’ll find their Medicare benefits cut and their Medicare Advantage premiums skyrocketing in 2010. The list:
Key Democratic Senators:

Arkansas

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (18.70% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-4843

Local Phone: Dumas (870) 382-1023, Fayetteville (479) 251-1224, Little Rock (501) 375-2993, Jonesboro (870) 910-6896, Texarkana (870) 774-3106

Link to E-mail [# More #]

Sen. Mark Pryor (18.33% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2353

Local Phone: Little Rock (501) 324-6336

Link to E-mail

Connecticut

Sen. Joe Lieberman (15.96% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-4041

Local Phone: (860) 549-8463

Link to E-mail

Florida

Sen. Bill Nelson (37.28% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5274

Local Phone: Orlando (407) 872-7161, Miami-Dade (305) 536-5999, Tampa (813) 225-7040, West Palm Beach (561) 514-0189, Tallahassee (850) 942-8415, Jacksonville (904) 346-4500, Broward (954) 693-4851, Fort Meyers (239) 334-7760

Link to E-mail

Indiana

Sen. Evan Bayh (20.70% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5623

Local Phone: Evansville (812) 465-6500, Fort Wayne (260) 426-3151, Hammond (219) 852-2763, Indianapolis (317) 554-0750, Jeffersonville (812) 218-2317, Southbend (574) 236-8302

Sen. Mary Landrieu (23.20% Lifetime ACU rating)
DC Phone: (202) 224-5824

Local Phone: Baton Rouge (225) 389-0395, Lake Charles (337) 436-6650, New Orleans (504) 589-2427, Shreveport (318) 676-3085

Link to E-mail

Montana

Sen. Jon Tester (16.00% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2644

Local Phone: Billings (406) 252-0550, Bozeman (406) 586-4450, Butte (406) 723-3277, Glendive (406) 365-2391, Great Falls (406) 452-9585, Helena (406) 449-5401, Kalispell (406) 257-3360, Missoula (406) 728-3003

Link to E-mail

Nebraska

Sen. Ben Nelson (47.26% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-6551

Local Phone: Omaha (402) 391-3411, Lincoln (402) 441-4600, Scottsbluff (308) 631-7614, Kearney (308) 293-5818, South Sioux City (402) 209-3595

Link to E-mail

Nevada

Sen. Harry Reid (18.96% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-3542

Local Phone: Carson City 775-882-7343, Las Vegas (702) 388-5020, Reno (775) 686-5750

Link to E-mail

North Dakota

Sen. Kent Conrad (19.57% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2043

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 258-4648, Fargo (701) 232-8030, Grand Forks (701) 775-9601, Minot (701) 852-0703

Link to E-mail

Sen. Byron Dorgan (16.57% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-2551

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 250-4618, Fargo (701) 239-5389, Minot (701) 852-0703, Grand Forks (701) 746-8972

Link to E-mail

South Dakota

Sen. Tim Johnson (18.36% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-5842

Local Phone: Aberdeen (605) 226-3440, Sioux Falls (605) 332-8896, Rapid City (605) 341-3990

Link to E-mail

West Virginia

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (28.26% Lifetime ACU rating)

DC Phone: (202) 224-3954

Local Phone: Charlestown (304) 342-5855, Eastern Panhandle (304) 264-4626

The “Blue Dog” House Democrats:

Alabama

Rep. Bobby Bright – 2nd District
DC Phone: (202) 225-2901

District Phone: Dothan (334) 794-9680; Montgomery (334) 277-9113; Opp (334) 493-9253

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/bright/contact-form.shtml

Rep. Parker Griffith – 5th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4801

District Phone: Huntsville (256) 551-0190; Decatur (256) 355-9400; Shoals (256) 381-3450

Link to E-mail: http://griffith.house.gov/?sectionid=7&sectiontree=4,7

Arkansas

Rep. Marion Berry – 1st District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4076

District Phone: Jonesboro (870) 972-4600; Cabot (501) 843-4955; Mountain Home (870) 425-3510

Link to E-Mail: http://www.house.gov/berry/messageform.html

Rep. Mike Ross – 4th District

DC Phone: 1-800-223-2220

District Phone: El Dorado (870) 881-0681; Hot Springs (501) 520-5892; Pine Bluff (870) 536-3376; Prescott (870) 887-6787

Link to E-mail: http://ross.house.gov/?sectionid=77&sectiontree=76,77

Arizona

Rep. Harry Mitchell – 5th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2190

District Phone: (480) 946-2411

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/mitchell/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords – 8th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2542

District Phone: Tucson (520) 881-3588; Cochise (520) 459-3115

Link to E-mail: https://giffordsforms.house.gov/contact/email.shtml

California

Rep. Mike Thompson – 1st District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3311

District Phone: Napa (707) 226-9898; Humboldt (707) 269-9595; Mendocino (707) 962-0933; Yolo (530) 662-5272

Link to E-mail: http://mikethompson.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za.pl?/mthompson/contact/email_auth.txt&form=/mthompson/contact/email_form.shtml&pass

Rep. Dennis Cardoza – 18th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6131

District Phone: Merced (209) 383-4455; (209) 527-1914; Stockton (209) 946-0361

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep

Rep. Jim Costa – 20th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-9308

District Phone: Fresno (559) 495-1620; Bakersfield (661) 869-1620

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/formcosta/issue.htm

Rep. Loretta Sanchez – 29th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2965

District Phone: (714) 621-0102

Link to E-mail: http://www.lorettasanchez.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=218&Itemid=17

Rep. Jane Harman – 36th District

DC Phone: (202) 225 8220

District Phone: El Segundo (310) 643 3636; Wilmington (310) 549 8282

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/harman/contact/email.shtml

Rep. Joe Baca – 43rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6161

District Phone: (909) 885-2222

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/baca/ht_zip_parms.txt&form=/baca/messageform.shtml

Colorado

Rep. John Salazar – 3rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4761

District Phone: Grand Junction (970) 245-7107; Pueblo (719) 543-8200; Durango (970) 259-1012; Alamosa (719) 587-5105

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/salazar/contact-zip.txt&form=/salazar/contact2.shtml

Florida

Rep. Allen Boyd – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5235

District Phone: Tallahassee (850) 561-3979; Panama City (850) 785-0812

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/boyd/zip_authen.txt&form=/boyd/contact_email.html&pass

Georgia

Rep. Sanford Bishop – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3631

District Phone: Albany (229) 439-8067; Colombus (706) 320-9477; Thomasville (229) 226-7789

Link to E-mail: http://bishop.house.gov/display.cfm?section_id=13

Rep. Jim Marshall – 3rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6531

District Phone: Macon (478) 464-0255; Dublin (478) 296-2023; Tifton (229) 556-7418

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep?HIP29329573301.1220.9427

Rep. John Barrow – 12th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2823

District Phone: Augusta (706) 722-4494; Sandersville (478) 553-9215; Savannah (912) 354-7282

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/barrow/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

Rep. David Scott– 13th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2939

District Phone: Jonesboro (770) 210-5073; Smyrna (770) 432-5405

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Iowa

Rep. Leonard Boswell – 3rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3806

District Phone: (515) 282-1909

Link to E-mail: http://boswell.house.gov/?sectionid=81&sectiontree=4,81

Idaho

Rep. Walt Minnick – 1st District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6611

District Phone: Meridian (208) 888-3188; Lewiston (208) 743-1388; Couer d’Alene (208) 667-0127

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/minnick/contact-form.shtml

Indiana

Rep. Joe Donnelly – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3915

District Phone: South Bend (574) 288-2780; Logansport (574) 753-2671; La Porte (219) 326-6808; Michigan City (219) 873-1403

Link to E-mail: http://donnelly.house.gov/contact/email.shtml

Rep. Brad Ellsworth – 8th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4636

District Phone: Evansville (812) 465-6484; Terre Haute (812) 232-0523

Link to E-mail: http://www.ellsworth.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=325&Itemid=

Rep. Baron Hill (Co-Chair for Policy) – 9th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5315

District Phone: Jeffersonville (812) 288-3999; Bloomington (812)336-3000

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/baronhill/IMA/issue_subscribe_parm.txt&form=/baronhill/IMA/issue_subscribe_verify.shtml

Kansas

Rep. Dennis Moore – 3rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2865

District Phone: Overland Park (913) 383-2013; Kansas City (913) 621-0832; Lawrence (785) 842-9313

Link to E-mail: http://www.moore.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za.pl?/moore/contact/zip_authen.txt&form=/moore/contact/email.shtml

Kentucky

Rep. Ben Chandler – 6th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4706

District Phone: (859) 219-1366

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep?HIP29329573301.26817.5636

Louisiana

Rep. Charlie Melancon (Co-Chair for Communications) – 3rd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4031

District Phone: Houma (985) 876-3033; Chalmette (504) 271-1707; Gonzales (225) 621-8490; New Iberia (337) 367-8231

Link to E-mail: http://www.melancon.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=205

Maryland

Rep. Frank Jr. Kratovil – 1st District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5311

District Phone: Centreville (443) 262 -9136

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/kratovil/contact-form.shtml

Maine

Rep. Mike Michaud – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2943

District Phone: Bangor (207) 942-6935; Lewiston (207) 782-3704; Presque Isle (207) 764-1036; Waterville (207) 873-5713

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/michaud/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

Minnesota

Rep. Collin Peterson – 7th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2165

District Phone: Detroit Lakes (218) 847-5056; Marshall (507) 537-2299; Montevideo (320) 235-1061; Red Lake Falls (218) 253-4356; Redwood Falls (507) 637-2270; Willmar (320) 235-1061

Link to E-mail: http://collinpeterson.house.gov/zipauth.htm

Mississippi

Rep. Travis Childers – 1st Districts

DC Phone: (202) 225-4306

District Phone: Tupelo (662) 841-8808; Hernando (662) 449-3090; Colombus (662) 327-0748

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/childers/webforms/contact_parm.txt&form=/childers/webforms/contact_form.htm

Rep. Gene Taylor – 4th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5772

District Phone: Bay St. Louis (228) 469-9235; Ocean Springs (228) 872-7950; Hattiesburg (601) 582-3246; Laurel (601) 425-3905

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/genetaylor/webforms/zipauth.htm


North Carolina

Rep. Mike McIntyre – 7th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2731

District Phone: Lumberton (910) 735-0610; Fayetteville (910) 323-0260; Wilmington (910) 815-4959; Bolivia (910)-253-0158

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/mcintyre/issue.shtml

Rep. Heath Shuler (Whip) – 11th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6401

District Phone: Asheville (828) 252-1651; Murphy (828) 835-4981; Sylva (828) 586-1962

Link to E-mail: http://shuler.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/shuler/ht_zip_parms.txt&form=shuler/messageform.htm

North Dakota

Rep. Earl Pomeroy

DC Phone: (202) 225-2611

District Phone: Bismarck (701) 224-0355; Fargo (701) 235-9760

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/formpomeroy/ht_zip_parms.txt&form=/formpomeroy/messageform.htm

New York

Rep. Mike Arcuri – 24th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3665

District Phone: Utica (315) 793-8146/8147; Auburn (315) 252-2777/2778; Cortland (607) 756-2470

Link to E-mail: http://arcuri.house.gov/IMA/issue_subscribe.htm

Ohio

Rep. Charles Wilson – 6th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5705

District Phone: Canfield (330) 533-7250; Marietta (740) 376-0868; Bridgeport (740) 633-5705; Ironton (740) 533-9423; Wellsville (330) 532-3740

Link to E-mail: http://www.charliewilson.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=139

Rep. Zack Space – 18th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6265

District Phone: Dover (330) 364-4300; Zanesville (740) 452-6338; Chillicothe (740) 779-1636

Link to E-mail: http://space.house.gov/?sectionid=61&sectiontree=26,61

Oklahoma

Rep. Dan Boren – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2701

District Phone: Muskogee (918) 687-2533; Claremont (918) 341-9336; McAlester (918) 423-5951

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/boren/emailsignup.shtml

Pennsylvania

Rep. Jason Altmire – 4th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-2565

District Phone: Aliquippa (724) 378-0928; Natrona (724) 226-1304

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/altmire/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm

Rep. Patrick Murphy – 8th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4276

District Phone: Bristol (215) 826-1963; Doylestown (215) 348-1194

Link to E-mail: http://www.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/formpatrickmurphy/ht_zip_parms.txt&form=/formpatrickmurphy/messageform.shtml

Rep. Christopher Carney – 10th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3731

District Phone: Clarks Summit (570) 585-9988; Shamokin (570) 644-1682; Williamsport (570) 327-1902

Link to E-mail: http://www.carney.house.gov/contact.shtml#email

Rep. Tim Holden – 17th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-5546

District Phone: Berks (610) 921-3502; Dauphin/Perry (717) 234-5904; Lebanon (717) 270-1395; Schuylkill (570) 622-4212

Link to E-mail: http://holden.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/holden/email_zipauth.txt&form=messageform.shtml

Tennessee

Rep. Lincoln Davis – 4th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-6831

District Phone: Columbia (931) 490-8699; Jamestown (931) 879-2361; McMinnville (931) 473-7259; Rockwood (865) 354-3323

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/htbin/wrep_const

Rep. Jim Cooper – 5th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4311

District Phone: Nashville (615) 736-5295

Link to E-mail: http://www.cooper.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=61

Rep. Bart Gordon – 6th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4231

District Phone: Murfreesboro (615) 896-1986; Cookeville (931) 528-5907; Gallatin (615) 451-5174

Link to E-mail: http://gordon.house.gov/contact/contact_form.shtml

Rep. John Tanner – 8th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4714

District Phone: Union City (731) 885-7070; Jackson (731) 423-4848; Millington (901) 873-5690

Link to E-mail: https://writerep.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep

Texas

Rep. Henry Cuellar – 28th District

DC Phone: (202) 225-1640

District Phone: Laredo (956) 725-0639; McAllen (956) 631-4826; Rio Grande City (956) 487-5603; San Antonio (210) 271-2851; Seguin (830) 401-0457

Link to E-mail: http://cuellar.house.gov/Contact/ContactForm.htm

Utah

Rep. Jim Matheson – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-3011

District Phone: South Salt Lake (801) 486-1236; St. George (435) 627-0880;

Link to E-mail: https://forms.house.gov/matheson/contact.shtml

Virginia

Rep. Glenn Nye – 2nd District

DC Phone: (202) 225-4215

District Phone: Hampton (757) 326-6201; Eastern (757) 789-5092

Link to E-mail: http://nye.house.gov/?sectionid=7&sectiontree=4,7

How Appeasement Works: Slowly, With A Month Here And A Month There

From the Wall Street Journal’s write up on the debate over which sanctions to impose on Iran, and when:

European officials stressed Monday they are likely to seriously consider new sanctions only at year-end, citing a December deadline, replacing President Barack Obama’s September deadline, that has now been set to see if diplomacy with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad works.

The aricle is specific only on those sanctions which won’t be imposed:

ban on gasoline sales also is difficult to get through the Security Council because Chinese state companies this month began providing up to one-third of sales to Iran, filling in the market vacated by BP and Reliance of India.

A total embargo on Iranian oil — which Israeli officials have suggested — seems unlikely. U.S. law already forbids U.S. firms from buying Iranian oil, but Europe, Japan and China are big customers. Analysts say an embargo on Iranian oil would drive up prices and damage the global economy, unless a big producer such as Saudi Arabia made up the difference — about 3% of world supply.

A U.N. tightening of an arms import ban on Iran would run up against the interests of a powerful sector of the Russian economy. “A lot of larger contractors in those sectors of the Russian economy don’t have necessarily other extensive markets that they can easily go to,” said Paul Saunders, executive director of the Nixon Center in Washington.

Because the Obama Adminsitration is not credible on the idea that it would ever use the military option, other nations reluctant to hurt their own economic interests don’t worry about blocking lower level sanctions. They don’t have to worry about America escalating the confrontation because it is President Obama they are dealing with, and he cannot even bring himself to meet with his Afgan commander more than once in two-and-a-half months.

Already the voices urging a de facto surrender to Iran’s ambitions are surfacing in the usual palces –the editorial pages of the New York Times for example. “[T]he administration should seek a strategic realignment with Iran as thoroughgoing as that effected by Nixon with China,” write Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett in today’s paper, barely 72 hours after the president and his British and French allies demanded Iran comply with international law.

Secretary Gates has said that military action against Iran will only buy time, but time may be Israel’s best ally right now as it watches the world roll over in a surprisingly swift resignation to the inevitability of Iranian nuclear weapons.

The lead editorial in today’s Jerusalem Post calls for a response similar to that imposed on Cuba in 1962:

Iran’s stratagem is to “engage” as it pushes ahead with its bomb, thereby making it hard for the international community to impose meaningful sanctions. Once it feels certain it has all the pieces of the nuclear weapon’s puzzle in place – fuel, warhead, delivery system – it might offer Obama a stop just short of a test detonation, in return for a long list of Western concessions.

Anyway, the pace of economic sanctions is way out of sync with the progress the mullahs are making on their bomb. Even if Russia and China accepted a winter embargo on refined petroleum products entering Iran, is there any reason to imagine that the mere discomfort of the Iranian masses would take precedence for Khameini and Ahmadinejad over the bomb?

Obama should leapfrog over futile intermediate steps and place draconian sanctions on the table, now. To paraphrase John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this would mean that all ships and planes bound for Iran, from whatever nation, would be turned back.

Perhaps this prospect, coupled with a complete land, sea and air quarantine, can influence Iran’s leaders to rethink their one-step-forward-two-steps-back strategy, and save humanity from an Iranian bomb.

Alas, President Obama wants very much to look and sound like President Kennedy, but it is highly unlikely that he will be acting like him anytime soon. The appeasers don’t want to force a confrontation over Israeli security, so if Israel genuinely fears the Iranian bomb on Iranian missiles –or some lesser WMD made in the secret facilites of Iran and smuggled via Syria to the Hezbollah forces on Israel’s northern border– it will have to arrange for the remedy by itself. And soon.

My new Washington Examiner column is posted.

How the MSM covers what increasingly appears to be a full scale strategy of appeasement vis-a-vis Iran will define the legacy media’s legacy, in the same way that Geoffrey Dawson’s support for the policies of Neville Chamberlain defined the Times of London’s editor’s reputation.

Iran is reported to have test fired a long range missile today, which is all the reply a sensible person needs to understand how the mullahs will conduct themselves over the next two months. Today’s coverage of this event will tell us a lot about whether Beltway-Manhattan media elites even understand what is unfolding around the world.

“With ObamaCare in a Hole, Will the White House Stop Digging?”

The Monday morning column from Clark Judge:

With ObamaCare in a Hole, Will the White House Stop Digging?
By Clark S. Judge, managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.

Increasingly in Washington over the last few weeks, we have heard this assessment of the president’s health care upheaval prospects: Something will pass, because the president and his party have such large majorities (nearly 60 percent) in both chambers of Congress that it is inconceivable that they could not bludgeon their way to the necessary majorities. But victory will be the product of power, not debate – and it will cost them control of the House in the next election.

The problem for the president is that he has lost the health care debate. No one in either party or in the media has dared speak this fact as of now, but it is inescapable.

Let’s review the bidding:
-Cost: The president said the upheaval would cost nothing. The Congressional Budget Office put a trillion-dollar-plus price tag on it. Others have since confirmed their assessment.
-Taxes: The president said only those making more than $250,000 per year would pay more. As details have emerged, virtually every American will be paying additional taxes to fund this new federal health care behemoth. [# More #]
-Death Panels (really policies to cut the cost of that famously expensive “last year of life”): The president and his team have called the death panel charge a lie. They have pointed to Britain’s National Health Service as a counter example. But about two weeks ago, an article by British policy expert Rupert Darwall appeared in the Wall Street Journal (http://tinyurl.com/nqr3au) showing that, well, actually policies in the British service are tilted toward cutting off care to the aged.

As Darwall wrote:
[Recently] a group of senior doctors and health-care experts wrote to a national newspaper expressing their concern about the Liverpool Care Pathway, a palliative program being rolled out across the NHS involving the withdrawal of fluids and nourishment for patients thought to be dying. Noting that in 2007-08, 16.5% of deaths in the U.K. came after “terminal sedation,” their letter concluded with the chilling observation that experienced doctors know that sometimes “when all but essential drugs are stopped, ‘dying’ patients get better” if they are allowed to.

Darwall was pointing out what everyone except the president’s policy experts seems to understand: None of us knows which year is our last year of life until we actually die. The rationing policies at the heart of the president’s money saving plan will inevitably lead to government panels setting standards for the entire population. But not everyone – actually, not most of us – will fit those standards. With genetics driving medicine towards highly individualized care at all levels, the president’s upheaval plans will drive the nation to care by the averages, or, as one former senior Food and Drug Administration official called it in a talk with me recently, a lurching back to the Middle Ages of treatment.

-Keep our own plans: The president has said that no one will be forced to give up his or her current health plan. But increasingly it is clear that his program will drive current health plans from the market. As someone put it, “No, you won’t be forced to give up your current plan. It’s just that your current plan will cease to exist.”
-More: I could go on. But undoubtedly the best rundown of the misconceptions at the heart of the president’s plan and of why he has lost the debate is a book (available here — http://tinyurl.com/6rzagq — for free in pdf form) titled The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen’s Guide. It is by Sally Pipes, president of San Francisco’s Pacific Research Institute (of which I am chairman). “[F]or health care policy makers, it should be required reading,” says Steve Forbes in its introduction — not that the president’s people can be expected to heed Forbes’ advice.

On point after point, the president has been on the short end of the health care argument. Facts have got in his way so often as to raise doubts about whether the White House even has a fact checking staff.

Meanwhile, he and his allies have tried to ignore the increasingly loud and much better informed voices for modest reforms that might actually lower costs while improving access and quality. A recent and brilliant brief for this consumer-driven model appeared (http://tinyurl.com/lquswk) in the September issue of The Atlantic. By businessman and Democrat David Goldhill, it was just one dozens of recent appeals along the same lines: that if Washington’s Golden Rule is “he who has the gold makes the rules”, in health care each of us individually should have the gold: not the government, not our employer, us.

Over the weekend, the Rasmussen organization released polling numbers that found the percentage of likely voters strongly disapproving of the president’s handling of his job ten points higher than strong approving. Public opposition to his health care proposals was as large a week following his recent address to Congress as it was the week before. This debate is over – even if the power politics are not.

An old political rule says, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. The more Mr. Obama demands passage of his unsaleable program, the higher his disapproval ratings go. The question now is, will he will he have the sense to stop digging?

Archive Calendar

September 2009
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930