Barack Obama’s groundbreaking win as the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, for me at least, stirred up images of the classic 1972 film, “The Candidate.”
In that film, a young idealistic lawyer played by Robert Redford challenges a long-term incumbent Republican for a California Senate seat.
Incredibly, the Redford character, Bill McKay, pulls off a monumental upset, a win that worries the young liberal so much that he pulls his campaign manager into an unoccupied room during the victory party and asks, “What do we do now?”
Flash forward 36 years.
Once the hoopla surrounding Obama’s win begins to fade, the candidate will no doubt go into heavy training in preparation for a round of debates against Republican nominee John McCain.
One of the issues the apparently tax-happy Obama will have to fully explain — certainly in more detail than on his Web site or in his sound bites — is his proposal for health care.
The candidate has said on several occasions that his plan would not only work, but would save “billions” in various abuses and fraudulent claims.
That’s a rather ambitious claim, since a recent sting operation in Florida found that nearly 500 businesses that didn’t exist were billing for Medicare services to the tune of nearly $240 million.
And that’s just one area of the country. Would anyone like to guess what a similar undercover operation would reveal in say, New York or California?
A discovery like that doesn’t exactly imbue me with confidence that the federal government can outline a health care program that purportedly would include everyone, but would miraculously eradicate fraud at the same time.
Both Obama and Hillary Clinton said that their proposals for health care would also include the private sector. But as one tax group recently asked, how long would a private sector concern remain part of the solution after they get even a small glimpse of the regulatory and bureaucratic monstrosity that will eventually evolve from their plans?
If history has shown us anything, it’s that when Washington begins throwing money into a program of this size, fraud becomes a natural by-product.
But that’s something that will have to be addressed well before November. Election day is no time to ask what do we do now?
In the interim, I congratulate the senator on his victory and wish him good luck. He’s going to need it.
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