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President Obama blew it on swine flu, so why trust him on health care reform?

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Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:15 am, Thu Jul 22, 2010.

Less than three months ago, President Barack Obama declared that swine flu was a "national emergency."

Obama granted his Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius extraordinary powers to let hospitals move emergency rooms off-site to handle the anticipated crisis.

As part of Obama's chilling prediction that the nation would soon be at the point of no return from the ravages of swine flu, the president issued this statement: "As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, and are taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic."

Proving that colossal misjudgment is bipartisan, Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell pledged to provide the administration with whatever federal funding necessary to avert disaster.

Even the nation's leading health authority got it wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, "many millions" of Americans were already stricken.

The first clue that the H1N1 situation was not quite as described by the White House came when Obama's daughters, despite the urging from the CDC that all children between 6 months and 18 years be vaccinated, did not receive their vaccines until media questioning about why they had not became too intense.

Now we know it was all a hoax. H1N1 is not significantly more dangerous or contagious than ordinary winter flu strains. Projections of thousands of deaths were grossly exaggerated.

Look to the shameful H1N1 overhyping to explain why the percentage of Americans favoring health care reform has steadily fallen since June from 50 percent to its current 42 percent.

I have said from the beginning that in addition to the endless Congressional debate that has numbed the public into nonresponsiveness, American's biggest concern is that the federal government is simply incapable of effectively managing any major new program.

Consider swine flu. Obama, the Senate, the Cabinet and the nation's leading health agency — all completely wrong!

If leadership cannot get an accurate reading on something as basic as the common flu, how can we possibly trust it on 2,000 pages of complex legislation?

We can't. And therein lies the rub. The next step in the health care debate is for the Senate and the House to reconcile their two, substantially different bills.

The problem is not just that Congressional liberals and conservatives hold starkly differing opinions on abortion, the public option, starting dates and the tax increases necessary to pay for the $1 trillion plan.

Further complications set in when incumbent House Democrats must decide whether they want to be re-elected or to pay homage to Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Back in November, the House could only squeak out the narrowest 220-215 margin in favor of HR 3200. That bodes poorly for the upcoming reconciliation effort.

Whatever happens, you can expect health care to play a major role in the elections.

Based on the reader replies I received from a column I wrote two weeks ago, Lodians are leery of the price tag as well as the bureaucratic red tape. Many are disgusted that Congressional leaders cut special deals with certain representatives to ram the bills through to meet a self-imposed, hypothetical Christmas deadline.

California's 11th District Democratic Congressman Jerry McNurtney voted "yes" on H.R. 3200, predicting that it would make health care more affordable for Americans.

But McNerney's would-be Republican challengers are all opposed to health care.

Republican Brad Goehring worries that a health care overhaul would inevitably lead to rationing and add to the nation's ballooning debt load.

Tony Amador asks if Americans want the kind of management that runs the IRS making their health decisions.

Other candidates Robert Beadles, Elizabeth Emken, Larry Pegram and Jeff Takada are also opposed.

If health care passes, predominantly conservative Lodi voters could take out it on McNerney and other Democratic incumbents. None will have Obama's coattails to ride on this year.

In what shapes up as tough mid-year election for the Democrats, they continue to ignore the significant constituent resistance to their liberal agenda.

On balance, America is a nation of moderates; the Democrats, the party of extremists Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Joe Guzzardi recommends readers attend a California 11th District Republican primary candidate forum in Manteca on Jan. 11 at the Crossroads Grace Community Church, 1505 Moffat Blvd. from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Send Guzzardi e-mail at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 4:59 am on Sat, Jan 16, 2010.


    He squeezes them in between rounds of golf and luncheons with SEIU.

  • posted at 2:29 am on Sat, Jan 16, 2010.


    Obama's a king now? Is he a like gold crown king or a Sacramento King? What's his number? Where does he find the time? So busy

  • posted at 12:14 am on Sat, Jan 16, 2010.


    I can't wait for Tuesday! I believe that Brown is going to take the long held Ted Kennedy seat. A republican beating out a democrat in Massachusetts? That used to be unheard of. If a republican can win there, the democrats have HUGE problems come November. Whether Brown wins or just makes it real close, obama and the democrats are shaking in there boots right now. In a state like Mass., a republican candidate shouldn't even have a chance. CHANGE is coming! LOL!

  • posted at 2:50 pm on Fri, Jan 15, 2010.


    The shot heard 'round the world is coming, and will probably happen next Tuesday in MA. Stay tuned for scenes from next week's show...

  • posted at 10:59 am on Wed, Jan 13, 2010.


    Wujek, thanks for that link; the stats in the associated .pdf are worth reading.The big ones are the ones that get everyone everywhere when they get older - heart diseases (26%), cancers (23%), and strokes (5.7%). Violent death (presumably evenly distributed by age) is 5% of the total, I expect roughly the same as in the European countries - including automobile accidents (about 1.5%), slip & fall (less than 1%), some others in smaller numbers. Europeans are no less enthusiastic about driving, or less clumsy, than us. Homicide is only about 0.8%, a pretty small fraction, especially compared to diseases of age.With regard to my original post, influenza is #8 on the list, with 2.3% of all deaths. I believe it's the most deadly communicable disease on the list, one that is generally most lethal to the very young and the elderly. H1N1 however is the exception to that rule, in that it is most lethal to young adults, in the same way as the 1918 flu (which killed "An estimated 50 million people, about 3% of the world's population" (Wikipedia "1918 flu"). Influenza is certainly not something you want to take chances with.

  • posted at 2:19 am on Wed, Jan 13, 2010.


    Numbers from the gov on deathshttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/deaths.htmnot sure of the agenda of this site but the sources are cited.http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30My point is that Americans tend to go to excess in a lot of things that can kill us. So a lower mortality rate for the entire US is expected. 77.7 may be the national stat, but what is the stat for someone who doesn't die by accident/murder and doesn't kill them selves through excess (alcohal, tobacoo, drugs, dare-devil behavior, ect.)Take away what we do to ourselves and our life expectancy goes way up.

  • posted at 2:06 am on Wed, Jan 13, 2010.


    sjt:Your stats on longevity of Americans vs other countries is missing an aspect, the causes of death play an important role in determining the validity of your stats.I'm not sure myself what the numbers are but if America has a higher number of teen suicides, gang violence and drug/alcohol related deaths then these would say the numbers to look like we don't live as long.Now if the stats were to focus solely on death by natural causes then that would be more relevant.

  • posted at 12:57 pm on Tue, Jan 12, 2010.


    Part 2-Who will pay the trillions required for the OBAMACARE? Who will develop the formulary for it? The FDA can't even police itself with weekly reports of some new bribery scandal.Obamacare will only efficient at wasting money. What are the safeguards against BIG TIME SCREW UPS?Look at the TSA jerks. We had three events in less than a month--THEY FAILED THEIR OWN MISSION. But NO ONE ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY. If you want is to trust you, prove it by firing Napolitano for her FAILURE in her JOB. OBAMA will never stand and deliver. He is nothing but an affirmative action President with NO LEADERSHIP over our economic crisis.Tell us about the promise to stop the war by sending in 40,000 more troops?Tell us about handing hundreds of BILLIONS to bankster buddies who donated over 700 million to his campaign. Next week the average BONUS for individuals with Goldman-Sachs will be $560,000. But GS is almost bankrupt and our nation has 10% unemployment. Lets let Obama hand out MORE money. The office of the President is too important for this pretender.

  • posted at 12:45 pm on Tue, Jan 12, 2010.


    SjT- You might be accurate with your speculation? But lets look at two HUGE fears that liberals refuse to answer? 1) Thereare HUNDREDS of thousands of wannabe guv-ment employees, who would love to play patty cake games with power, hubris and control WITH OUR MONEY. I can see it now. A moron with a GED , but a loyal moron to KING OBAMA, will be THE person that a physician must seek approval from for tests, procedures and surgery.It's already happened with the TSA. They collect income and power over us, and guess who is the customer? Not us. They are the customer. Taxpayers and medical professionals will be required kiss their behinds to treat patients. When the US government gets involved WE HAVE AN EXPENSIVE MESS.Look at TSA? Who let the last terrorist in? or the last or the last? NO ONE GETS FIRED. Look at the US POST OFFICE. They are so "efficient", that we have United Parcel Service, Fedex and many others who make PROFITS. But the USPS is raising postage rates again, and still FAILS.

  • posted at 8:48 am on Tue, Jan 12, 2010.


    First, let me say that it's seems rather odd to use the behavior of a disease organism to make a political argument. Perhaps we should base tax policy on the prevalence of athlete's foot infection?With regard to the health care debate, I find it both sad and ominous that we can't do it as well as virtually every other advanced country on Earth. Want to live longer than the U.S's expected 78.2 years? Move some place else - to any of 36 other countries where life expectancy is higher, such as Japan, where the average person can expect 82.6 years before shuffling off their mortal coils. Canada, Britain, France, Germany, all those places with "terrible" health care, they live longer. Heck, you'd get a few more months if you moved to South Korea. And what do all these countries have in common? Well, they spend less on health care - at least a third less (Switzerland), and in the case of Japan about half.

  • posted at 7:34 am on Tue, Jan 12, 2010.


    Excellent letter, Joe. I see you have the fear mongers out in droves. LOL! One thing: you forgot to mention the biggest hypster of all: the MSM was pushing the H1N1 doomsday scenario really hard....and without the MSM, the government wouldn't have a "voice" to push this agenda. Not to mention this little overlooked tidbit:http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Coakley-in-trouble-Pharma-and-HMO-lobbyists-to-the-rescue-81067542.html

  • posted at 2:34 am on Tue, Jan 12, 2010.


    Mr. Guzzardi, you seem to be disappointed that the H1N1 flu has not sickened more people. Do we take Ivan Dixon's advice, and only "prepare" for a disaster after it happens (I think that's called "dealing with a disaster" - you can't "pre"-pare for something that is in the past)?

  • posted at 1:50 pm on Mon, Jan 11, 2010.


    So, far over 400,000 of us have started the new year with a resolution to "MOVE YOUR MONEY" from any Wall street bank. On December 30, Arianna Huffington started a bi-partisan effort to deprive the big banks that are handing out tens of BILLIONS of dollars for undeserved bonuses, of a few of our savings dollars. Search keywords MOVE YOUR MONEY. The 1946 Frank Capra movie "It's a wonderful life" was edited down to 5 minutes to illustrate and motivate people to close savings accounts with the Mega-Monster Vampire Squid banks on Wall street to the smaller community banks or CREDIT UNIONS. Credit UNIONS are non-profit and NEVER PAY 30 million dollar/year salaries with BILLIONS more for bonuses. This is BILLION DOLLAR bonus week for Wall street, lets see what happens? Congressional committees are gearing up for question time.

  • posted at 6:26 am on Mon, Jan 11, 2010.


    Mr. Guzzardi states facts, not mindless emotional b.s. He may be a Democrat, but he's not a mindless drone.

  • posted at 2:58 am on Mon, Jan 11, 2010.


    Who said we trust Obama? Only ther democrats trust him!

  • posted at 1:36 pm on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    I can't help wondering whether you have any idea what you are talking about.You know, Mr Dockter, folks like you are exactly what drove me to give up on the GOP and register as an independent.

  • posted at 12:01 pm on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    Ivan,I can't help but wonder how you rationalize the 6000 earmarks B.O.signed even though he promised there would be no earmarks.

  • posted at 10:29 am on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    Where my son and grand daughter live in Texas, H1N1 hit so hard that the children's hospital had to set up tents in the parking lot. I thank G*d that the Texas Governor had the wisdom to take the federal aid that he needed to contain the epidemic where he did.

  • posted at 10:25 am on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    "Brian wrote on Jan 10, 2010 2:31 PM: I see"Mr Dockter, I sincerely doubt it.

  • posted at 8:31 am on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    I see Ivan is comfortable with the gross overestimation of funds needed to treat the H1N1 virus. He can't help it ifhe shares the same philosophy as the left that pumping more money into the system is the cure all. So, as with his ilk, he will continue to ignore the significant constituent resistance to the liberal agenda.

  • posted at 5:23 am on Sun, Jan 10, 2010.


    I agree completely with Joey Gizzard.Preparing for disasters that do not happen is idiocy. The time to prepare for disasters is after the disaster has already occurred, when you know for certain that it actually is going to happen.


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