If Americans had any doubt why Barack Obama’s trillion-dollar health care takeover is failing, allow me to present exhibit A: Katy Abram, a wife and mother from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Lawrence O’Donnell, a self-described “European socialist,” hosted Hardball in Chris Matthews’ place Wednesday, where he interviewed Abram for daring to speak her mind at a townhall meeting hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (?-PA). Matthews used the soundbyte on Hardball Tuesday as proof that “some of the people are upset that we have a black president,” although Ms. Abram said nothing about race.
Abram is clearly not a professional pol; she said she had never been involved in politics before ObamaCare. She’s a normal, woman-next-door who spoke the truth and blew a hole through O’Donnell’s condescending, truth-twisting sophistry.
When O’Donnell tried to lie that Obama had never supported a single-payer health care system, she got him dead-to-rights. After she noted Obama’s affection for such a plan, O’Donnell busted in: “Katy, he’s never said that. He has never said we will move to a single-payer system.” Her eyes widened appreciably at the audacity of his lie. (Notice her reaction beginning at 2:30. It is the reaction of any of us to a bald-faced lie.) Obama has endorsed single-payer but suggested implementing it through incremental, Fabian half-steps. In 2003, he said clearly, “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan.” Almost exactly one year ago, when asked by a campaign audience about single payer, he said, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system…my attitude is let’s build up the system we got, let’s make it more efficient, we maybe over time…decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.” And this June, while pitching this plan President Obama told an unreceptive American Medical Association, “I’ll be honest, there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well.” Abram-1, O’Donnell-0.
Changing tactics, O’Donnell asked Ms. Abram whether she had health care — advancing the Left’s odd idea that the 85 percent of American residents who will be directly affected by socialized medicine schemes have no right to protest their fate. Abram responded that she has a plan — complete with a high deductible. “Basically,” she said, “in the course of a normal year, we will pay for all our medical needs out-of-pocket” — from a dreaded Health Savings Account, the kind universally derided by advocates of nationalizing health care like Massachusetts Senator, Medal of Freedom recipient, and strong swimmer Ted Kennedy.
Visibly lost, O’Donnell begged, in essence, how she dared not join the antiwar movement:
You, as an adult, lived through 9/11, you lived through the invasion of Afghanistan, the war in Afghanistan, the first chapter of what became two wars in the Middle East, including the Iraq War, you lived through all of that, and you were as you put it “awakened” into an interest in politics. How could those things pass through your life and not spark any interest in politics prior to Washington saying, “We think we want to help out some people who can’t afford health insurance the way you can”?
Her answer was pure Americana: “I had other things going on: getting married, having children.” In 2001, she would have been 27-years-old, the prime years most Americans are raising a family, not chanting, “Bush Lied, People Died!” And, she rightly noted, since the time of Operation Desert Storm, it “always seems like we’re having some kind of conflict.” Indeed, Bill Clinton used the military (for lack of a more appropriate word) promiscuously, without UN authorization, to aid al-Qaeda affiliates and Marxist strongmen, even twice to attack Iraq.
O’Donnell cut Ms. Abram off before she could answer what actually awakened her, instead preaching the glories of socialism. When he tried to trap her by insisting that her political beliefs “would mean repealing Medicare,” she responded, “I hate to have words put in my mouth.”
The contrast between Abram and O’Donnell — and Right and Left — could not have been clearer when they began debating the Founding Fathers’ view of socialism vs. charity. Abram made clear that she held to a view of government, and neighborliness, that still lives in places like small-town Pennsylvania, in the American heartland, anywhere Barack Obama envisions people clinging to their guns and religion: “The Founders, they thought and hoped that the goodness of the people would help the people who were doing without. And I know that would seem naive in today’s world” — but a “lot of people that I know go on missions. They, they volunteer –”
O’Donnell cut off Abram’s discussion of how American goodness and decency would overcome the need for regimented centralization. He’d endured all the love of America and American values a leftist could take.
Little wonder, as the invaluable Newsbusters.org has pointed out, Kathy Griffin drew more viewers filling in for Larry King than Matthews’ show did.