Inside the Beltway: Obamacare ‘fix’ now in a fix

So much for President Obama’s convoluted announcement that offered home remedies for the big ills of health care reform, plus a one year sign-up reprieve for those who have lost their insurance. For a president who enjoys golf, the big news teed up Republican outrage to perfection. Oh, the irony.

Take Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, for example. He is chairman of the Republican Study Group, which offered its own alternative health care reform bill way back in September.

“His hollow press conference was like a person who burned down your house, later showing up with an empty bucket and talking about how inadequate your house was before the fire,” Mr. Scalise says.

But wait, there’s more.

“President Obama needs to admit that Obamacare cannot be fixed. Pointing fingers and claiming ignorance is not leadership,” says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

“This is a staggering display of a reckless president cavalierly instructing states to ignore federal law,” declares Texas Gov. Rick Perry, himself in presidential posturing mode, and irked that Mr. Obama suggests remedies at the state level.

“President Obama did succeed at one thing today — making a bad situation worse with a fix that will create more confusion for consumers and threatens to destabilize the health insurance industry,” Mr. Perry adds.

Still, some have advice for the Grand Old Party. Forget cozy compromise. “Bullied Republicans must insist on repeal and resist the pitfall of becoming part of a phony fix,” Rush Limbaugh told his audience in the aftermath of the president’s press conference.

“If you think that this has the potential of waking people up to the horrors of liberalism and voting Democrat, then the last thing you’d want to do is help fix it,” Mr. Limbaugh advised Republican lawmakers.

OBAMACARE AS TROUSERS

“Think of a belt and suspenders. Do any of you wear a belt and suspenders? What the president will put forth will be one, and what we will put forth will be the other, and everything will be under control.”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, explaining the working of an independent Democratic “fix” for the healthcare reform law during a press conference, the details to be revealed Friday.

RNC TO DNC

“The Democratic National Committee says it is eager and proud to run on Obamacare in 2014. We’re wondering if their TVs are working. Note to the DNC: Obama’s track record hasn’t been to pivot when things are going well. You might want to check with your 2014 candidates before doubling down on ObamaCare.”

— From a Republican National Committee memo issued Thursday.

FROM THE ‘HEH’ DESK

Meanwhile, there’s a cultural moment. As far as the Obamacare goes, Americans trust information from Fox News more than President Obama. No, really. A new poll from YouGov finds that Fox News leads the list of most-trusted sources for health care news, followed by “friends and family,” Mr. Obama, National Public Radio, “your personal insurance company,” local TV news and, wonder of wonders — “Republicans in Congress.”

Consider that “Obama administration officials” ranks 13th while “Democrats in Congress” follows in 14th place. The other news networks were scattered throughout the lengthy list. The poll of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Nov. 6 and 7.

THE RETURN OF THE HE-MAN

Stand clear, now. Here comes “Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to being Your Most Masculine Self,” by one Stephen Mansfield. Due from publisher Thomas Nelson on Tuesday, the book has received accolades from none other than Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the former commander of Delta Force.

“The Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness. It is time to recover what we have lost,” Mr. Mansfield proclaims. He also wrote “The Faith of George W. Bush” and “Lincoln’s Battle with God” among other books.

“My goal in this book is simple. I want to identify what a genuine man does — the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood — and then call men to do it,” the author adds.

He is weary of man-bashing culture like demeaning commercials and sitcoms, and he seeks to school younger gents in authentic manliness, lest they become isolated, by emphasizing “more doing, less talking.”

The thoughtful Mr. Mansfield also has supplied a list of 10 essential movies for manly men. They are: “Seabiscuit,” “Chariots of Fire,” “The Pursuit of Happy-ness,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Apollo 13,” “The King’s Speech,” “Men of Honor,” “Hoosiers” and “The Last Samurai.”

GIPPERLISCIOUS

Now open at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., it’s “SPY: The Secret World of Espionage,” an exhibit that includes never before seen objects and documents from the CIA, KGB, FBI, National Reconnaissance Office and the “clandestine world of spies.” The collection of 300 items includes eavesdropping bugs, concealed cameras, a Soviet poison dart umbrella and Reagan’s original leather binder for intelligence briefings.

Also on the tour: interactive secret writing devices, disguises, voice changers, a laser maze and “on-the-spot training for future spies,” organizers say.

Hm-m-m.

A public Spy Lunch scheduled for Wednesday, incidentally, includes “Covert Salad” with fancy ranch dressing, a “CIA Entree” consisting of rosemary chicken and roasted potatoes plus “Espionage Cake,” which has much to do with chocolate and raspberry.

POLL DU JOUR

86 percent of U.S. voters say “elected officials in Washington” add to the nation’s problems; 93 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

9 percent overall say the officials are helping solve the problems; 5 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

65 percent overall say Congress should continue to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attacks; 83 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent overall are worried about their personal health care in the future; 87 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall say President Obama “spends too much time blaming others” for problems that arise; 80 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall say the U.S. should “throw out” health care reform law and start over; 72 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent overall say we should “keep trying to fix it”; 21 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,006 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 10 to 12.

Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com

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