Your Conversation with Congressman Baird
- I have no idea how many attended, over 500 I would guess
- I estimate 65% – 70% were against ObamaCare, an easy majority
- The questions were civil, pointed and well thought-out
- I did not get to ask my question
- I knew over 30 people there and only one person I knew got to ask a question (great question Dave)
I have now personally heard Baird speak to the Health Care bill 3 times and here is what I have learned
He agrees that tort reform and background checks should be part of any health care reform out of congress, but he will support the bill even if neither are included. To him the importance of getting a bill done takes precedence over these desires.
Baird also says that he will not support a bill that is not revenue neutral, forces citizens into the government option and must be firewalled from “alternate” federal revenue.
The obvious problem with this statement is that the CBO states clearly that HR 3200 will not be revenue neutral and will in-fact add $239 billion to the deficit. It also states that the bill will force citizens out of private insurance and into the government “option”. He dismisses the CBO numbers.
Baird is very well spoken and will answers questions politely and attentively often beginning the answer with “good points” and “I agree with x”. He is very good at speaking to the other side of the critics point, he does not however complete the linear logic of questions, follow-up is necessary.
Make no mistake, despite his INCESSANT use of “center-right” buzz words, Baird is in favor of and wants to pass health care reform that guarantees insurance to all Americans, regardless of desire, income or need. He does want to pay for it (how???) and does want some freedom in the market, but dismisses the eventual outcome the American people are very aware of.
He dismisses any problems with the government option (like subsidization, rationing, forced participation) with the quip that all those problems exist in the current system and 45 million are uninsured.
He also dismisses the argument that government does a poor job of managing and delivering services, claiming that Medicare does a good job, as does other agencies like the CDC. Beside, the private sector does a poor job as well, just look at AIG and GM!
Baird only claims the “Commerce Clause” (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) as the power necessary for congress to regulate all health care and provide a tax subsidized government option, the same power that allows congress to manage and fund SS, Medicare and VA care.
I believe Baird has blurred the lines of logic and common sense that the average American sees clearly. While not as bad as other members of Congress, Baird has lost touch with his constituents.