10 September 2009

Women and children first

Last night's Presidential address to congress was one of the better speeches from a President I've seen in my adult life. It was direct, pointed and eloquent. At face value, it was inspiring to hear. His brevity on each point made the entire speech very digestible. He even threw Republicans a bone by mentioning the need for medical malpractice reform (although, there's nothing on the table to tackle this). And his conclusion with the ode to Ted Kennedy was nothing short of perfect.

However, this wouldn't be a true Copeland blog without a healthy dose of skepticism. So I did some reading and listening and more reading and found a few articles of interest.

First, you may (if you feel so inclined) download many documents on these proposed reforms directly from the Health Reform website. You're likely to find information about how our current health care costs stack up with our annual GDP (super interesting stuff) and find such easy-to-decipher equations as 1 – (ht – HSt).

Ok, now onto articles that are easy to read and digs a bit deeper into the validity of Obama's statements. The first is a fact check article composed by AP writers CALVIN WOODWARD and ERICA WERNER.

This article is very important to read as it points out the inconsistencies and a few non-factual statements. It's very fair and to the point and I think everyone should have a look at some of the facts behind the speech.

The second article is an op-ed piece by foodie and author, Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma. This article is great, because it reinforces the point that - in addition to health care reform - we need food industry reform. The fact that we're letting the food industry continue to lobby congress for cheap, unhealthy and poorly regulated food is continuing to lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cancers that have been linked to the poor (read also: cheap) diets of many US citizens.

One of my favorite points from the article: "But so far, food system reform has not figured in the national conversation about health care reform. And so the government is poised to go on encouraging America’s fast-food diet with its farm policies even as it takes on added responsibilities for covering the medical costs of that diet. To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup."

Now, I repeat, that the speech was a great one. There's no debating that. I just want to try to make sure that everything we're being told is something we can hold to truthfully. I think that's everyone's responsibility. And if you have any new things you can point me to, I would love to have a look.

If you want to see a great example of a horrible speech, check out THIS VIDEO. Classic (and very sad at the same time).


At 11:04 AM, September 10, 2009 , Blogger Milam said...

Admittedly, I missed the speech last night. I don't feel there is much to be trusted as he has so often contradicted the bill that he supports as President. I did find this synopsis interesting (from Andrea Tantaros), and you would have more clarity since you heard the whole speech:

Here's what was missing, besides new material:

* No answer on how he can not only expand coverage but also cut costs.
* No answer on how private insurance goes down by increasing the costs of insurance
* No answer on how to cut the current deficit.
* No answer as to why he will cut waste and abuse to help pay for for government run insurance option, but not to help cut the current ballooning deficit.
* No answer on how to make medicare solvent.
* No answer on why he won't cover illegals, but includes them in his 46 million uninsured count.
* No answer on what his plan is for illegals.
* No definitive, outcomes based answer on medical malpractice.
* No answer on why if this is such an urgent imperative, the plan won't kick in until after he runs for re-election.

I found the last point the most interesting, as well as the statements about illegals. Just food for thought...

At 11:11 AM, September 10, 2009 , Blogger Patrick Copeland said...

Those are great points. And I know that a congressional address is no place to start spewing out step-by-step details on each point, but at the surface it still seems a little vague and screwy.

We'll see what happens in the next few months.


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