In perhaps the worst selection of a talking point yet, the Obama White House demanded to know "Where's the GOP plan?" in advance of the health care summit, implying that Republicans had yet to offer a plan of their own.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert
Gibbstold reporters that if the Republicans posted an alternative to Obama's plan, he'd be happy to post it on the White House web site:
"The president posted ideas of his on the White
Housewebsite today. We hope Republicans will post their ideas either on their website, or we'd be happy to post them on ours, so that the American people could come to one location and find out the parameters of what will largely be discussed on Thursday," Gibbs said.
Turns out the House Republicans' plan has been online since October and already has its own link on the White House website. The White House encourages readers to "read more about House and Senate ideas from both parties on their websites." The link sends readers to a House GOP website that includes a one-page summary sheet and the legislative text of their proposals.
Congressional Republicans were also quick to answer with a post of their own: "Where is the Republican health-care plan? Right here, CBO scored." And, unlike the president's plan, which can't be scored by the
CBOdue to its lack of detail, the Republican plan will lower health-care premiums by 10 percent.
And yet for all that, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer went right back into denial this morning, asking on the White House blog, "Will the Republicans Post Their Health Plan . . . and When?"
Of course, Pfeiffer moves the goal posts on Republicans — calling for a grand, unified plan instead of "a collection of piecemeal & sometimes conflicting ideas." But that doesn't scan. At issue is precisely whether health-care cost and access problems are best addressed by a massive new entitlement structure that would socialize costs and guarantee access by mandate and price controls, or by a series of smaller, targeted reforms and incentives. It won't do for Pfeiffer to say the Republican plan isn't a plan at all because it isn't more like Obamacare.
To their credit, the mainstream media couldn't pass up reporting on Pfeiffer's glaring disingenousness, and Twitter was alive this morning with DC correspondents forwarding links to the GOP plan. Ironically, this is perhaps the most exposure the Republican plan has so far received, and all it took was the Democrats saying that it didn't exist.
The White House is operating almost at a juvenile level here. Obama's latest "plan" for health care is to simply outlaw reality -- to prohibit health care price increases by law. Sure, heavy-handed price controls will work. Just ask Zimbabwe. Charles Hurt writes:
After months of swearing that his health legislation would lower the skyrocketing costs of insurance premiums, Obama finally acknowledged that actually it would not.
So, instead, he has included a new provision that can simply outlaw premium increases his administration deems "unreasonable and unjustified."
This, in lieu of literally years of promises and proclamations about transforming the American hospital-industrial complex in a way that would drastically lower the cost of medicine in this country and leave insurance companies scrambling to lower the premiums they charge customers.
During his campaign, Obama flatly promised to lower families' health-insurance premiums by $2,500 every year.
Then, after he ascended to the throne, Obama repeatedly insisted without any reservations that all the health-care alchemy inspired by him would magically lower those premiums.
Even in the face of congressional accountants who repeatedly raised doubts about those promises, Obama insisted.
Now the comes the truth.
Of course, having so easily slid into the sordid ways of Washington, Obama does not admit this in so many words. In fact, the White House continues to broadly insist that the latest proposal lowers premiums.
So, why, then, create a whole new federal law to cap premium hikes?
There is only one reason: Even this White House can no longer keep up the charade.
Perhaps even more disturbing than Obama's back-door admission here is his plan for fixing it.
The Democratic health-care bill -- which deserves a cameo in the next "Night of the Living Dead" movie for its unkillable quality -- actually causes insurance premiums to rise?
Well, then, we'll just pass a law! Let's pass a law to outlaw reality!
. . . .
While he's at it, Obama should go right ahead and outlaw unemployment. Then he could make foreclosures illegal. That would fix all our problems.
Heck, if any problems remain in health care after he has jammed his bill through Congress before his co-conspirators get run out of town, Obama could just make sickness illegal.