Obama and Health Care: Wasting Political Capital

President Barack Obama was elected last year in a sizable victory over his Republican competitor. Bolstering his position was the huge Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Given these advantages, combined with intelligence and his natural talent as an orator, the President could pretty much chart his own course.

He did so, immediately turning to the weak economy and the battered financial sector first. In his first days in office, Obama pushed through a sizable stimulus package, bailed out numerous financial institutions, and put into place a host of measures to prop up the banking industry at considerable cost to taxpayerst.gif.

The plan worked. The financial industry has roared back to life with huge profits and large bonuses all around as a result of the government’s largesse – well at least for most of the largest companies. The surviving large financial institutions are even larger and more dominant than before the crisis. Now, it is business as usual again on Wall Street. In this sense, Obama and his economic team have been very successful.

But at what cost?

While the captains of finance are deciding how to spend their bonus money, ordinary Americans are still losing their jobs and their homes. The economy is still in tatters.

People are angry about this juxtaposition. No wonder everyone is having a hissy fit about Goldman, the owner of allegedly market manipulating trading codes and winner of the Wall Street earnings parade.

So, as the President turns his sights to health care reformt.gif, he is finding a much chillier reception from the media, Congress and the American people.  In my view, this is not necessarily because of his presenting the wrong proposal at the wrong time. Obama has simply wasted too much capital on bailing out the banks and this has left him in a weaker position politically.

To be sure, there are many reasons one could find faultt.gif with the proposed health plan.  But, with tens of millions of Americans having no coverage, the time for change is now. We all know that Obama could have made those changes had he not bailed out the banks first. His mandate will have to be more limited now.

So, as the President continues his public relations blitzt.gif to pass his health care bill, I look at the spectacle with a certain sense of disgust, wondering what could have been if so much weren’t wasted on propping up our still ailing financial system.


Originally published at Credit Writedowns and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

4 Responses to "Obama and Health Care: Wasting Political Capital"

  1. Anonymous   July 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I’m depressed and terrified by the scale of Obama’s and Pelosi’s delusional expectations. They have no plan to save money or provide financial relief to the middle class. Their health reform will wipe-out the middle class by adding to our burden. Teaming up with Wal-mart, the biggest American job killing company, makes this goal crystal clear.

  2. Brittanicus   July 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    It tends to make a lot of good people despondent and at the least susceptible, when they read, watch and listen to the maverick storm of media ads, thumping down President Obama’s health care initiative? Much of the rambling artifacts are the Simon and Lois ads of the Clinton administration, heavily armed against any revisions in this issue that wealthy insurance companies and subsidiaries won’t tolerate.They insulted the senior citizens with their propaganda and bald faced lies about the European government run health care system. Being originally an Englishman myself, I guarantee in the 1960’s, we had a unique form of medical services, inclusive of eye and teeth. Even government run medical care in Australia was exceptional. It did plummet down somewhat, when business starting recruiting foreign labor from the commonwealth and Northern Europe. Many were out for a free financial ride and got it, along with their large families that British citizens have to support with their limited pounds sterling.Just as the anti-governmental health care extremists have been pounding the airwaves, the open border, globalist is now subjecting the American people to a torrent of inflaming immigration polls. But like all polls they can be intentional manipulated, in exactly how the questions are worded? Sure they can keep their co-pays, deductibles and pre-existing small-print clauses, squeezing every penny from a hurting economy, but tell the–BLOODY TRUTH!It’s a sad fact that you cannot trust the Liberal slant regarding this searing problem, although not all Liberals are favorable to another AMNESTY? The Democratic leadership, hiding liberal views behind closed drapes tried to annihilate any good, workable illegal immigration enforcement laws. In an earlier session of the Senate an error was made with E-Verify, so it’s was fortunate to survive Sen. Reid and Pelosi’s notion? Anything that has an impact on removing illegal immigrants is intercepted by business oriented free traders.GOOGLE—illegal immigration–to find out their sinister intention, to just throw open the gates, ports and airline entrances to cheap labor, that also become the downfall of the European Union. the polling I have seen has been calculatedly –ENGINEERED–to get results, that they can brandish around, declaring the majority of Americans believe in a path to citizenship and open borders? Already the Democrats are ready to flag the Save Act, 287(g) local police enforcement to weaken these laws.Currently both issues have heavy fallout, and you the voter should let your Senator or Representative know your opinion on either matter at 202-224-3121—BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. Both have massive consequences in costs and quality of life in your future and generations to come.WE MUST SAY NO AMNESTY! SEAL OUR BORDERS AND NO MORE FREEBIES TO ILLEGAL ALIENS. THEY ARE THE CRIMINALS, NOT AMERICANS WHO SACRIFICE TAXES? GOOGLE–NUMBERSUSA for details our government and the media have a nefarious talent, for keeping facts under wraps?

  3. Anonymous   July 24, 2009 at 9:59 am

    if you want public healthcare… think about how great everything else public works out – like say… public housing.one thing that could start to help lower the costs of healthcare is establishing a need for pricing in healthcare. where else do you go get anything without knowing how much it costs? nobody buys a even a bottle of water without knowing the price. if there was no price… ok, yeah i’m going with the evian or whatever… if there is a price… that moland spring looks like it’ll work perfect.so in other words, put the responsibility for pricing in the hands of the consumer… a responsibility or maybe even legislation that requires pricing up front (for awareness at least) or for you to shop around for better prices on your doctor’s visit and procedures… similar to what happens with prescription vs. generic drugs and the insurance coverage… and this could be one thing of many that will begin to help the problem and lower costs.

  4. Guest   July 29, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Most members of Congress passed the stimulus bill without reading it. We have a president who is pushing health care bills that he has not read, yet continues to make promises the bills would prohibit. The hack Nancy Pelosi and the cynical, irresponsible Rahm Emmanuel, would pass these bills without anyone reading them in the middle of the night, if they could. All of the bills will allow government bureaucrats the power to micromanage health care decisions and set reimbursements which will wipe out doctors’ practices and throw millions of heath care workers out of jobs in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. But the bureaucrats’ jobs will be secure. No worry. As long as Pelosi and Obama can cement their legacy, and the bureaucrats can increase their power, all will be well in their world.