While the rest of the media – both new and decrepit – was distracted by the firing of Juan Williams by NPR, another story, with implications that affected each and every American, went virtually unnoticed. As is the standard operating procedure for the decrepit and, now, verifiably corrupt mainstream media, this alarming story received no coverage because it painted President Obama in a bad, nay, an honest light. I am at a quandary as to why the new media neglected the issue.
Don’t get me wrong, the Juan Williams firing is a legitimate story. Anyone concerned with the First Amendment right to free speech should be outraged that National Public Radio, a taxpayer funded media entity– funding derived from both charitable giving and government endowment, would exact a litmus test based on Progressive ideology on its employees. Truth be told, Mr. Williams said nothing that well over half the American population has been suppressing for almost ten years.
Additionally, in the age of the Internet, when anyone with a laptop, microphone and a pre-paid credit card can broadcast literally around the world, the need for a publicly funded radio entity should be questioned, especially with a 2011 budget deficit estimated to be in the area of $1.4 trillion.
But I am off topic…
What if I told you that the Chairman and CEO of IBM, Samuel J. Palmisano, approached President Obama and members of his administration before the healthcare bill debates with a plan that would reduce healthcare expenditures by $900 billion? Given the Obama Administration’s adamancy that the United States of America simply had to make healthcare (read: health insurance) affordable for even the most dedicated welfare recipient, one would think he would have leaned forward in his chair, cupped his ear and said, “Tell me more!”
And what if I told you that the cost to the federal government for this program was nothing, zip, nada, zilch?
And, what if I told you that, in the end and after two meetings, President Obama and his team, instead of embracing a program that was proven to save money and one that was projected to save almost one trillion dollars – a private sector program costing the taxpayers nothing, zip, nada, zilch – said, “Thanks but no thanks” and then embarked on passing one of the most despised pieces of legislation in US history?
Well, it’s all true.
Samuel J. Palmisano, the Chairman of the Board and CEO for IBM, said in a recent Wall Street Journal interview that he offered to provide the Obama Administration with a program that would curb healthcare claims fraud and abuse by almost one trillion dollars but the Obama White House turned the offer down.
Mr. Palmisano is quoted as saying during a taping of The Wall Street Journal’s Viewpoints program on September 14, 2010:
“We could have improved the quality and reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $900 billion…I said we would do it for free to prove that it works. They turned us down.”
A second meeting between Mr. Palmisano and the Obama Administration took place two weeks later, with no change in the Obama Administration’s stance. A call placed to IBM on October 8, 2010, by FOX News confirmed, via a spokesperson, that Mr. Palmisano stands by his statement.
Speaking with FOX News’ Stuart Varney, Mort Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief of US News & World Report, said,
“It’s a little bit puzzling because I think there is a huge amount of both fraud and inefficiency that American business is a lot more comfortable with and more effective in trying to reduce. And this is certainly true because the IBM people have studied this very carefully. And when Palmisano went to the White House and made that proposal, it was based upon a lot of work and it was not accepted. And it’s really puzzling…These are very, very responsible people. They don’t have a political ax to grind. They are very familiar with the subject; they understand exactly what the issues are.”
Given the fact that Mr. Obama’s own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services actuary debunked the claim that health insurance costs would diminish over the next decade and given that the budget deficits for 2010 and 2011 are in the $1.2 trillion–$1.4 trillion ballpark, the question begs to be asked: Why would Mr. Obama balk at a sure-thing savings of almost $1 trillion?
Cost projections prepared by economists at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), revealed the nation’s healthcare spending, as a share of the economy, will be 0.3 percentage points higher in 2019 than estimated before the law was passed. That CMS report, published September 9, 2010, in the journal Health Affairs, also revealed healthcare spending will grow by an average of 6.3 percent each year over the next decade, whereas pre-reform projections pegged annual growth at 6.1 percent.
CMS actuaries also say that Medicare cuts mandated by the law are unrealistic and unsustainable. An April 22, 2010, CMS report about the financial and coverage effects of selected provisions of the new law estimates that about 15 percent of hospitals and other healthcare providers could lose money treating Medicare beneficiaries as a result of the proposed cuts.
And the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, will total $1.29 trillion. The Obama administration has projected that the deficit for the 2011 budget year, which began on Oct. 1, will climb to $1.4 trillion and that over the next decade, it will total $8.47 trillion.
So, again, I ask you, with the main issue being the economy, including the audacious spending habits of elected officials in Washington DC, why would Mr. Obama and his team balk at facilitating not only the saving of almost $1 trillion in healthcare expenditures, but the opportunity to affect an issue victory in the 2010 midterm election cycle?
Mr. Zuckerman concluded,
“When you are in a situation where this country is facing a huge deficit and where anybody who knows anything at all about the healthcare system knows how much waste, fraud and abuse is involved in that system…not to take this offer up, frankly, does not make sense.”
Mr. Zuckerman is correct, but only to a point. It doesn’t make sense if Mr. Obama is trying to reduce waste and fraud, and make health insurance affordable for all Americans. It does make sense if those were never the goals in the first place.
As I wrote in an article titled, Cloward, Piven & Obamacare,
“...the goal of the Progressives is to crash the system; to overwhelm the system to such an extent that it fails. It is at this moment of failure that Progressives believe they can enter the situation as the “knight in shining armor.” It is at this particular moment of vulnerability that Progressives believe the American public will acquiesce to the false choice of “something is better than nothing”; to a government-run universal healthcare plan to rescue the devastated American healthcare system, a system Progressives themselves threw into chaos, courtesy of their ridiculous health insurance reform law.
“As an aside, keeping this plan in mind, it makes perfect sense that Progressives and Liberal Democrats wouldn’t waste their time reading the massive health insurance reform bill. They never intended for it to be around long enough for it to matter.”
It is one thing to be – as a good many elected officials in Washington DC are – arrogant, self-absorbed spendthrifts, so detached from the actualities of what Americans require and want from their government. It is quite another to willfully abuse the system – and the American people – in an attempt to bring about and ideological “change” – a “fundamental transformation” – of the very system of government that has made the United States the most prosperous nation in the history of the Western Civilization and the last best hope for freedom and liberty for all in the world.
In Mr. Obama’s shunning of a private sector program that would have saved our country almost $1 trillion in healthcare expenditures, presented to him as he declared a “crisis in healthcare,” he proves two things beyond any doubt: that he is anti-Capitalist and anti-private sector in nature and that he can no longer be trusted to tell the truth in both his political declarations or espoused goals.
As the song goes, “God damn the pusher man.”
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal.