Yes We Can? No, He [POTUS] Didn’t. Not Tonight.

Note: An Opinion Piece By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

If you were not dialed into the first presidential debate tonight, you missed a rather tortured, poorly moderated, POTUS failed series of opportunities to credibly discredit his health reform ‘etch-a-sketch’ opponent. In the post debate punditry, and fact checking, this one is likely to ascend to the Romney ‘distortion zone’ hall of fame collection.

Going into the debate, odds makers favored POTUS to win the match, while most assumed his challenger would benefit though not land anything remotely resembling exchange parity if not the ‘out of the money’ and long shot knock out punch. In fact many saw this debate as an opportunity for POTUS to land just such a fatal blow to this master of health policy obfuscation.

Yet the results are in, and the sentiment is perhaps best be summarized by a series of tweets proffered by Atul Gawande, MD, aka @atul_gawande:

@Atul_Gawande 1. Obama was meandering and confusing.

@Atul_Gawande 2. Romney made a shockingly better case for government being a protector of the weak and vulnerable than Obama.

@Atul_Gawande 3. Romney’s stated policies—cutting coverage for the uninsured, Wall St regulations, and top tax bracket—weaken those protections.

@Atul_Gawande 4. That Obama could not convincingly explain this is utterly depressing.

@Atul_Gawande 5. The key policy Q: did Romney’s promise to leave the tax share of the rich the same walk back his promise to cut top tax bracket?

No doubt a wake-up call to the Obama camp.

In the attribution department, the title for this post ‘ Yes we can? No, he didn’t. Not tonight.‘ was sourced from: Warren Kinsella, aka @kinsellawarren, who described himself as ‘…a raconteur, bon vivant, and – occasionally – a Toronto-based lawyer, author and consultant. He is not profound, but he enjoys a good scrap.’


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  1. And here I thought this was an educational non-political blog. Excuse me whilst I unsubscribe.

    1. Thanks for your comment Peter, as you wish. I’ve amended the post to reflect it’s ‘opinion nature’, however ‘ObamaCare” or more accurately the Affordable Care Act is a political entity. Hard to separate. From day one dating back to the consideration of the American Health Security Act, including it’s Republican allied health economists’ alternative for a market based solution tied to an individual mandate has stoked the fire of health policy framed by one’s school of political ideology.

      As far as Romney is concerned his public track record is to repeal ObamaCare but his plan for a substitute is a series of mercurial shifts of details or the absence of same. His position on healthcare is virtually incomprehensible and disingenuous particularly as it relates to his Medicare claim. If you have some objective basis to challenge these conclusions, your thoughts are most welcome.

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