The Administration and maybe the President seem perplexed and disconcerted over the fact that after a health care speaking blitz, extolling the obvious virtues of reform, that it does not produce firm and lasting converts. In fact, less people trust the Administration-outlined health care plan then at the beginning of the reform campaign. Among other objections people express concerns about the costs and how the ultimate tax bill will affect their living standards. Despite the obvious broken system, that must be repaired, people disdain a consummate government solution even more.
The American people don’t seem to believe once the government absorbs any private sector it ever lets go. Many are fearful that any health care reform that the Congress will pass will have the architecture in place to fill any gaps. Filling the gaps will,in time, produce total government health care. Any bill could be just a “buy in”.
These doubtful Americans, many of them, lived through the Reagan years and both Bush’s without seeing any significant reduction in the size or proportion of the Federal Government. In those years Americans listened to steady rhetoric about the evils of a monolithic government, but it was mostly talk. Why shouldn’t the American public be skeptical, now that we have an Administration and majority in both branches of Congress that have no such hostility to a large and aggressive government?
You don’t hear the President talking down the active role of the government. By all measurements he believes in government solutions and government management. Likewise, much, and near the majority of Congress feel the same way. These Congressmen seem to harbor none of the fears of government that the conservatives might.
It is the Federal Government role that is the central division. Not only in health care, but in many other matters as well. This difference cannot be denied.
Despite all the sweet talk and speech-craft, the opponents to the proposed reforms remain unmoved for the most part. This is because of the expressed convictions of the President and a vast record in both the Illinois legislature and the U.S. Senate. We should rely on his proclamations, facts, as well as votes cast in his career. I call this the Obama Standard.
The Obama Standard was established in the confirmation vote for Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. Of course, Roberts was eminently qualified, as Senator Obama acknowledged, and was confirmed by a healthy majority. However, he did not receive Senator Obama’svote. Actually, Justice Roberts had a sit down interview with Sen. Obama. During the interview Sen. Obama said Roberts gave all the right answers. Roberts verbally concurred with Obama’s concerns. But, in the end Obama explained; ” I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have showed with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting”.
When Americans refuse to buy the health care reform espoused by the President they are applying th Obama Standard. A standard that the President should understand and respect.