Fresh out of college and armed with a degree in Psychology I found myself jobless and looking for a career. It was then that I met up with the insurance salesman. After he had me tested and as he reviewed the results, he told me that I had better find a different career. I just wasn’t cut out to be an insurance salesman. At first I was crushed. But then on the way home I had one of those V-8 juice moments! Sell insurance, what was I thinking?
As he explained, I didn’t have the killer instinct: the ability to scare the b-Jesus out of you so that you signed on the dotted line. Buy this stuff or your wife will end up in a brothel to pay all the bills and your kids will become street urchins begging for money all because you were too cheap! Well last night I didn’t get the same pitch, but given the speech I can truly say, President Obama wasn’t cut out to be an insurance salesman either.
Touted as the speech to end all questions regarding his health care proposal I found myself sitting there, albeit in the choir, disappointed. Yes, we need this. Yes, we have people who have died while insurance companies made millions on cutting their customers off when they need them the most. Yes, there is a need in America to do something about escalating costs. And yes, unless we do something now, it’s just going to cost us more as a nation to postpone the inevitable.
But the smug quiet, prove to us we should make this happen group of naysayers sitting before him were buying none of it. They only cheered when the President threw out a bone about reducing the cost of malpractice liability to Drs. Yeah, worse care, no chance of suing for damages, and dropped coverage for pre-existing causes! What are we waiting for! Sign me up!
A conservative friend assured me the other day that not 20 million people don’t have insurance but less than eight. And further more, that once they pass this thing you watch – your taxes will go thru the roof, Medicare benefits will get cut and someone will be checking out your doctor the next time he or she asks for a test for you! When asked where he got all that information, he assures me it was as true as could be, because the talk radio show that he listened to every afternoon has never steered him wrong!
So whom do you believe? The President of the United States or a radio hack that could loose his job tomorrow and be selling cars in a week’s time? He felt the radio hack was more credible. So as you can see, not only did the President have a credibility gap with that listener, but from where I see, many, many others.
Bottom line, this is where the President needed that killer instinct. Sure he laid waste to all the myths. No death panels, no depleting Medicare benefits, no incurrence of more debt and my favorite: an end to the Wall Street Mentality of the insurance industry where profit outweighs care provided.
While Liberal Dems are being threatened for not compromising on the Public Option and taking the heat for slowing down the process, we would do well to remember it is in fact the heart and soul of this program. Without it, we end up with little more than window dressing that eventually puts us right back were we started from. The President says he is willing to negotiate the option to win and if he is, he probably won’t be any more successful at selling insurance than I never was!