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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 14

In an interview with Dr. Nancy Snyderman of NBC, the president offered some blunt talk about health care:

Snyderman: ... do you have people at the bargaining table, the pharmaceutical industry hospitals in there?

I haven't heard anyone ask just for the American public to pony up here, that this is going to require some give for all the stakeholders involved.

Obama: Well, let me — let me talk about what I think the American people are going to have to do.

First of all, the American people have to recognize that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Right? So, we can't just provide care to everybody that has no cost whatsoever, you don't end up having to make any decisions.

So, obviously, we've got to have a system that controls costs, gives people choices, but makes sure that we're getting a good bang for the buck. And we've got to have the American people doing something about their own care.

Snyderman: So, self-responsibility.

Obama: So, self-responsibility is going to be critical. This is probably not going to be something that's legislated. But I tell you what, every business out there is going to be looking at their health care bottom line. And increasingly what you're going to see is that businesses are going to incentivize their employees to stop smoking, lose weight, get exercise, get regular checkups.

What we can do is we can encourage those companies that have those sorts of wellness-prevention programs. We can make sure that it's easier to find a primary care physician to get a regular checkup, that everybody has basic insurance. But the American people are going to have to participate in their own health.

Mickey Kaus gives him a high grade for candor, a lower grade for salesmanship.

In an interview with Dr. Tim Johnson of ABC, the president hinted that he had seen The Matrix:

There's going to be some disagreement, but if there's broad agreement that, in this situation the blue pill works better than the red pill, and it turns out the blue pills are half as expensive as the red pill, then we want to make sure that doctors and patients have that information available to them.