I thought we were trying to control the cost of health CARE….

A few notable points about Mr. Obama’s primetime news conference Wednesday night:

The Politico (7/23, Frates) reports, “If you haven’t been paying attention, you might have missed it. But with the substitution of one word…Obama was able to redirect his healthcare message from uninsured Americans to those who already have insurance.” He “talked about ‘health insurance reform’ a noticeable shift from the ‘healthcare reform’ he had been talking up until late last week.” The new term “has distinctive political advantages. Insurance reform, insiders say, likely polls better than a more general reform message because it targets something voters know, understand and don’t particularly like. And, it has the added bonus of setting up the insurance industry as a political punching bag.”

Hmm … I thought we were trying to control the cost and availability of health care, not the price of the insurance that helps pay for it. That’s sorta’ like trying to reduce the cost of the gas in your car by reducing the price you pay for car insurance. Since “insurance” is designed to help pay for the medical care, wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce the cost of the care itself? The fact is, most people, including those without private health insurance, still have access to health care at various city & county health clinics, hospital emergency rooms, and so forth. It’s the rising cost of care that’s the issue, not the cost of the insurance to pay for it…

Continuing, doubt was cast on some Obama assertions: In a “fact check” piece, the AP (7/23, Woodward, Kuhnhenn) reports that the President’s “assertion Wednesday that government will stay out of healthcare decisions in an overhauled system is hard to square with the proposals coming out of Congress and with his own rhetoric.” During his news conference, Obama said, “We already have rough agreement” on some aspects of reform, including keeping “government out of healthcare decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it.” But, legislation in the House would create “a commission appointed by the government” that “would determine what is and isn’t covered by insurance plans offered in a new purchasing pool, including a plan sponsored by the government.” Obama then “went on to lay out other principles of reform that plainly show the government making key decisions in healthcare.” Obama also said, “I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it.” White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, however, “told reporters this week that the promise does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase fees for doctors serving Medicare patients.”