Billed as “real answers,” ABC television’s “Prescription For America” went long at nearly 90-minutes, carrying over its primetime special into late-night “Nightline.” Although the “questions for the President” were direct and, in some cases hard-hitting, President Obama’s answers were indirect and, at times, evasive.
To be fair to co-anchors Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, they both were professional and impartial, asking follow up questions in attempts to get more of a direct answer out of Obama as to how his plan would be implemented and paid for. Gibson actually cut off the President several times when Obama went into campaign rhetoric.
Obama side-stepped questions throughout the evening with standard answers that we’ve heard before: how hard it’s going be to put a new system in place, how hard it is for families without insurance, the rising cost of health insurance, etc., etc….he went on and on without addressing the questions directly until Charlie or Diane would break in for a follow up, another question, or a commercial break.
Obama did however address two things directly last night and both should be giving us cause for concern:
(1) end-of-life care which Obama said should be more cost effective, essentially denying treatment to older people who become ill because that treatment may be considered unnecessary to someone who will most likely die soon anyway;
(2) Cutting charitable donations for people in higher income brackets (upper 2-3%) because that money would then be able to pay for a chunk of Obama’s plan.
Regarding the end of life issue was a woman who told Obama that her mother – now 105 years old – received a pace-maker at 100, something that most likely would have been denied her mother nder the Obama plan. Obama’s response to this woman was, “I’d like to meet your mother and find out what she’s eating.”