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Sunday, July 19, 2009

President Obama's Hurry Up and Wait Health Care Policy

President Obama was out front this weekend again proclaiming that we have no time to waste in passing health care reform.

Any successful salesperson worth their salt knows that to close the sale you need to create urgency. If there's no reason to buy NOW there's no reason to buy period. A car salesman will claim that said deal will go away, often referred to as a take away close. A stock broker will say that the price of said investment will go up. A mortgage broker will say that rates are about to go up. You get the idea.

The president is making a similar claim only he's not really saying why we need to pass health care reform. Sure, he says that health care costs are out of control but is that a reason to pass his health care package now. In fact, the health care reform floating through Congress won't be implemented until 2013. Taxes, however, will be implemented in 2011. So, why exactly do we need to pass this reform NOW if it doesn't start for more than three years?

This habit of the president's is what I now refer to as hurry up and wait policy making. We had to hurry up to pass his stimulus package but nearly six months in only one tenths has been spent. Why was it so urgent to pass if it can't be spent all that quickly? Now, we must pass health care reform by August but none of it can be implemented until 2013, except taxes of course (by the way I agree with its slow implementation).

Of course, high pressured sales people have gained their nasty reputation for using exactly these sorts of tactics. They create urgency that is simply not there. People are pressured into snap decisions when the benefit of calm reflection would be in their best interest. That's exactly what the president wants the Congress and the country to do now. He doesn't want anyone to have any time to analyze the final bill. Think about it. We don't even have a final bill yet, and he wants to have the law passed in 12 days. Yet, after it passes, he'll take three years to actually start it.

Sleezy high pressure sales people make sales, and some even make fortunes. Soon enough, they are discovered and their reputations are ruined. The president can find no rational reason for ramming health care reform down everyone's throat, besides his own political viability that is. People aren't stupid. They know a sleezy high pressured salesman when they see one, and that's what the president is right now.

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