If President Barack Obama were a commercial product instead of a politician, the Federal Trade Commission would right now be going after him for false advertising.
For one thing, the FTC would say, you had better quit talking about giving special interests a big kick in the behind. We’ve caught you, pal. You are instead playing a political version of kissy-face with one of the most obnoxious lobbies of them all, medical malpractice lawyers whose incessant, over-the-top suits may be running up health costs by $200 billion a year.
The estimate comes not from hate-lawyer populists, but from such reputable groups as the American Medical Association, and answers come from a number of responsible students of the issue. They say you can save these billions while holding physicians responsible for true negligence by using expert boards.
Oh, wait. Is that the president saying he will agree to fund a study of alternatives to the present system as part of his never-say-die health care package? Yes it is. But, the thing has been studied to death. We need reform.
And while on the subject of the health care package, the FTC might add that it has caught the president in all kinds of deceptions — misleading statements about American longevity, an initial failure to keep the negotiating process as transparent as promised, a pretense that Medicare cuts won’t affect any benefits, the use of all kinds of gimmicks to hide the extraordinary new cost of subsidizing new millions covered by health insurance, and the cry that Republicans were offering no options that could accomplish the objectives cheaply.
What about this new pay-go law you wanted, sir? You got it, and the White House made it sound as if just about every new nickel Congress adds to the budget would now have to be paid for by a new tax or a nickel saved in cuts someplace else. But, the first time someone called for the law to be used, your vice president, Mr. Joe Biden himself, attacked the person as a moral thug. This is the way you practice fiscal responsibility?
But, it’s not as if you are a toothpaste that claims cavity-prevention it cannot effect. You are the president, one of the most important people in the lives of 300 million Americans, and there is no way but the voting booth to hold you and your party in Congress to standards as high as toothpaste. You are off the hook.
Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at Speaktojay@aol.com.
Decades ago, I was a reporter in Albany, N.Y., working for a newspaper at the foot of a hill that could be ascended only with huffing, puffing, knee endangerment and sweat unless you employed a trick.