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Suggested Questions for Tonight’s Press Conference

Wednesday, July 22, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I’ll host a two-hour special after tonight’s press conference by the president.

The MSM may be beginning to wake up from its POTUS-induced slumber. The past year has been a low point for “mainstream journalism” when it comes to cheerleading Barack Obama as a candidate and then as president as opposed to covering him. The president’s sinking numbers and the spreading, deep concerns over the disastrous and radical proposals on restructuring American medicine seems to have sparked a handful of Beltway reporters to push back a bit, beginning with ABC’s Jake Tapper at the last press conference, though Jake didn’t get a straight answer from President Obama and none of his colleagues followed up. Then NBC’s David Gregory actually made Meet The Press worth watching this past weekend with a grilling of Secretary Sebelius, so who knows? Maybe the White House press corps will show up for work tonight. If so, expect the White House to respond with more planted questions from more planted “reporters.”

If the MSM does show up with game, its biggest guns should start where Jake Tapper left off –with the obvious consequences of the president’s plan on tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of Americans with existing, employer-provided health insurance.

Suggested question #1: Mr. President, experts agree that if health care legislation includes a so called “government option” or “public plan,” many employers will get out of the expensive and time-consuming business of insuring their employees and push them instead into the government option. As president, don’t you owe the public a candid and complete explanation of this likely impact from the government option you are pushing instead of the assurance you keep giving that “If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it?”

Suggested question #2: Mr. President. In a conference call with leftwing bloggers on Monday, you told one of them who asked about a specific section of the House bill that you weren’t familiar with that section. How familiar are you with the provisions of the House bill? And have you had a chance to study the section he asked about and whether it outlaws new private insurance policies?

Suggested question #3: Mr. President, the stimulus package was passed with large parts of it unread and much of it even unprinted. The same thing happened when the House passed Cap and Trade –there was a 300 page amendment introduced and adopted on the day it passed. You campaigned on a promise of having all bills posted on the web for many days prior to a vote on passage so the public could read them and respond. Will you insist on that promise being kept on health care legislation and if so, for how long will you ask the House and Senate to post their proposed bills before voting on them?

Suggested question #4: Mr. President, Americans by large margins reject public funding of abortion, but your budget director refused to rule out including abortion services as part of the government option/public plan you are pushing. Will the government plan pay for abortions? Do you want it to?

Suggested question #5: Mr. President, many small businesses with thin profit margins in areas like restaurants, janitorial services and landscaping are saying that they will have to go out of business if they are forced to pay the health care costs of their workforces. Are they wrong?

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