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GOP counters Obama's ABC News health coverage special

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All - 4 quick things before ABC's health care special with President Obama.

1) Be sure to access GOP.COM/LIVERESPONSE to see the RNC's live response to President Obama tonight.

2) U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ranking Republican on House Budget Committee and Ways and Means Committee member, will appear on ABC's Good Morning American tomorrow morning to offer a response to President Obama's health care town hall.

3) Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement on President Obama's government-run health care agenda.

"Today, a major national TV network will turn its airwaves over to President Obama to promote the Democrats' government-run health care plan. President Obama has said he wants a bipartisan discussion, yet he has chosen to exclude Republican voices from ABC's special health care programming on Wednesday night. This is the height of hypocrisy.

"Republicans believe every American deserves quality, affordable health care and want bipartisan reform that will reduce costs and put patients and doctors, not bureaucrats, in control of their families' medical decisions. When President Obama says public option, he means government-run health care. Without question, the government takeover of healthcare will diminish individual freedom and quality in our health care system.

"Republicans want real health care reform not another government takeover that Americans simply cannot afford."

4) As a reminder, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell hopes President Obama will answer 5 important health care questions tonight.

Five Questions for the Administration on Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the importance of getting it right on health care reform:

"When it comes to reforming health care, Republicans believe that both political parties should work together to make it less expensive and easier to obtain, while preserving what people like about our current system.

"That's why Republicans have put forward ideas that should be easy for everyone to support, such as reforming medical malpractice laws to get rid of junk lawsuits; encouraging wellness and prevention programs that have already been shown to cut costs; and addressing the needs of small businesses without imposing taxes that will kill jobs.

"Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have opted against many of these common-sense proposals, moving instead in the direction of a government-run system that denies, delays, and rations care.

"So it's my hope that the President uses his prime time question and answer session at the White House tonight to clearly express where he himself comes down on a number of crucial questions.

"One question relates to whether Americans would be able to keep the care they have if the Democrat plan is enacted. The President and Democrats in Congress have repeatedly promised Americans they could keep their health insurance. Yet the independent Congressional Budget Office says that just one section of the Democrat bill being rushed through Congress at the moment would cause 10 million people with employer-based insurance to lose the coverage they have.

"Another independent study of a full proposal that includes a government run plan estimates that 119 million Americans, or approximately 70 percent of those covered under private health insurance, could lose the health insurance they have as a consequence of a government plan. America's doctors have also warned that a government plan threatens to drive private insurers out of business. And yesterday, the President himself acknowledged that under a government plan, some people might be shifted off of their current insurance.

"So the first question is this: Will the President veto any legislation that causes Americans to lose their private insurance?

"The President also said that health care reform can't add to the already-staggering national debt. Yet once again, the Congressional Budget Office has said that just one section of the Democrats' HELP bill would spend 1.3 trillion dollars, while others estimate the whole thing could end up spending more than two trillion dollars. And here's how the CBO put it: 'the substantial costs of many current proposals to expand federal subsidies for health insurance would be much more likely to worsen the long-run budget outlook than to improve it.'

"Let me repeat that. The Congressional Budget Office says that some of the proposals in the Democrats' bill would be much more likely to worsen the long-run budget outlook than to improve it.

"So the second question is this: Will the President veto a bill that adds to the nation's already staggering deficit?

"The President has said that no middle-class Americans would see their taxes raised a penny. Yet Democrats on Capitol Hill are considering proposals, such as a plan to limit tax deductions for medical costs, that would not only raise taxes on middle class families, but that would hit these families the hardest.

"So the third question is this: Will the President veto any legislation that raises taxes on the middle class?

"The President has said he supports wellness and prevention programs that have proven to cut costs and improve care by encouraging people to make healthy choices, like quitting smoking and fighting obesity. One such program is the so-called Safeway plan, which has dramatically cut that company's costs and employee premiums. Yet the bill Democrats are rushing through the Senate would actually ban the key provisions of the Safeway program from being implemented by other companies.

"So the fourth question is this: Does the President support the HELP Committee bill, which bans providing incentives for healthy behavior, and will he veto legislation that bans these kinds of programs?

"Finally, the President has said that government shouldn't dictate the kind of care Americans receive. On this issue, the President has no stronger supporters than Republicans. But Democrats on the HELP Committee rejected a Republican amendment that would have prohibited a Democrat-proposed government board from rationing care or denying lifesaving treatments because they are too expensive.

"So the fifth question is this: Does the President support the Republican amendment to prohibit the rationing of care, and will he veto legislation that allows the government to deny, delay, and ration care?

"Five questions: Will the President use his veto pen to make sure Americans aren't kicked off their current health plans? Will he oppose any legislation that increases the nation's deficit? Will he oppose any bill that raises taxes on middle-class families? Will he reject any bill that excludes common-sense wellness and prevention programs that have been proven to cut costs and improve care? And will he disavow legislation that denies, delays, and rations care?

"The American people want Republicans and Democrats to work together to enact health care reform, but they want the right kind of reform - not a massive government takeover that forces them off of their current insurance and denies, delays, and rations care. Americans are right to be concerned about what they're hearing from Democrats. It's my hope that the President addresses those concerns tonight once and for all."

10 Comments

I'm so embarrassed and ashamed of ABC and Diane Sawyer. ABC could not give the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, A LOUSY HOUR - FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD - WITHOUT A COMMERICAL EVERY 90 SECONDS. WHAT AN INSULT TO YOUR COUNTRY THAT YOU COULD NOT GIVE HIM TIME TO COMPLETE A THOUGHT WITHOUT A COMMERICAL. TO NOT GIVE OUR PRESIDENT A HOUR OR TWO WITHOUT COMMERICALS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY. THE MONEY THEY PAID OF THE COMMERIALS COULD HAVE BEEN PUT TOWARDS MEDICAL COSTS AND SHOWED ME THAT THIS PRESIDENT WILL DO WHAT HE MUST TO WORK VERY HARD TO CORRECT WHAT IT TOOK BUSH EIGHT YEARS TO CRUSH. BOY THOSE REPUBLICANS SO HAVE VERY SHORT MEMORIES. REPUBLICAN SHOULD SHUT UP AND LET THE PRESIDENT FIX THEIR MISTAKES AND THEIR LACK OF IDEA. M. HENLEY

MICHAEL STEELE DID YOU HAVE RUSH PROOF READ YOUR STATEMENT BEFORE YOU RELEASED IT TO THE PUBLIC!
STOP BEING A PUPPET FOR THE GOP!
THE GOP DOESN'T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT POOR PEOPLE!

I personally thought that President Obama was relatively superb in his presentation on the ABC program tonight. I found his arguments convincing and inspiring. My wife has a pre-exiting condition and will be soon off COBRA. She/we have a need for the public option to "keep the insurance companies honest." But the President did make one huge gaff, that being that "Medicare and Medicaid are the single biggest drivers of the federal debt." Of course that is not true. Under George W. Bush, the Iraq war had to be the single biggest driver of debt, and, according to information before me about the 2009 budget, $542 billion is budgeted for the Pentagon and another $196 is budgeted for the Iraq War. Medicare at this point pretty much pays for itself; Medicaid is, of course, a government program shared by the federal government and the states that has no real "premium" basis. Federal debt occurs when the federal government fails to "collect" enough money to cover its spending. Blame on the "entitlement" programs is commonly misplaced.
How nice it would be for the President to better understand that Medicare, Medicaid and, of course, Social Security, are NOT the major drivers of federal debt.


Wow you are sooo biased have a GOVERMNT RUN STATION AND HAVING ACORN PUT THE MONEY UP AND MUSCLE,WOW YOU USED TO BE THE BEST CHANNEL NOW YOU ALL FAIL AMERICANS WITH YOUR BIASED COVERAGE,WHERE ARE THE REAL JOURNALIST YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY LEFT.YOU ARE HAVE REALLY LOWERED YOUR STANDARDS SO I AM NEVER WATCHING YOU AGAIN.YOU ARE ONE WAY AND THAT WOULD BE OBAMA WHEN HE LEADS US TO HELL WILL YOU STILL BE HIS SHEEPLE?? You ought to be ashamed of how you lowered your standards....Shame ABC OBAMAS LAP DOGS...STAND UP IS THERE ANY REAL AMERICAN LEFT..??

It is untenable that the ailing people who need to take some rest are forced to keep working, due to the employment-based system with no other choice, and overly high health care prices. It may be one of the reasons that America spends over $2 trillion annually on health care, and today 75 percent of that money goes to chronic disease, there are 133 million Americans with one or more chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, arthritis, hypertension and diabetes.
As seen in the case of swine flu, most of the patients who took some rest and care at early mild stage have got recovery avoiding deadly outcome.
The employment-based system in the U.S. with no other choice and overly high health care prices is similar to an automobile without 'a brake' or 'a safety system', which come at at price, yet is even better than a fatal accident.
Public and private schools across the world help each other, and to date, private insurers have coexisted profitably with Medicare and Medicaid for many years. As we know, public health and education are essential parts of life, in my understanding, health comes first. That is why all of the industrialized countries have public policy in place, I guess.

So what is the GOP plan and how is it going to help reduce costs? Will it end the insurance companies practice of denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or charge them rediculously high preminum? How will the GOP plan to pay for it?

I found an Electronic Cigarette that allows me to smoke in banned areas and I really like it. The reason is because when you exhale there
is no smoke only vapor and they allow you to choose the level of nicotine that you want. Friday on CNN they did a piece on the Electronic
Cigarettes and said the same thing plus a number of other positive points.
If you want to check it out go to this link

http://myinlife.com/smokeelc

Time to e-smoke! Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco, emit no second hand smoke, and are non-flammable. Their use should not be prohibited under most laws.

Electronic cigarettes are certainly a better alternative with many great benefits ranging from cost savings, to odor less, to no butts littering our country!

Here is a quick introduction to electronic cigarettes: http://www.ecigarettes365.com

Lazy people love socialism.

Not sure why people are talking about electric cigarettes in this one since that is not the main topic. To touch on it though, I read a bit about these things and they are much better than regular cigarettes. Now that I think about it, the relevance here is using electronic cigarettes may keep people from getting some cancers and overall would help lower health care cost.

read more:
http://akovor.com/products

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 24, 2009 11:31 PM.

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