WHAT A CARD…. The good news is former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has stopped publicly complaining about President Obama’s clothing. The bad news is Card has started complaining about health care policy.
During the White House’s health care summit yesterday, President Obama said that “there are those who say we should defer health care reform once again” because they claim “that at a time of economic crisis, we simply can’t afford to fix our health care system as well.” “If we want to create jobs and rebuild our economy and get our federal budget under control, then we have to address the crushing costs of health care this year in this administration,” Obama said of such criticisms.
But while Obama was making the case that health care reform is both “a moral imperative” and “a fiscal imperative,” former Bush chief of staff Andrew Card was arguing on Fox News that reform needs to wait. “We have got a huge crisis in our economy, and I think we have got to solve that problem first,” said Card.
Asked by Neil Cavuto if the health care summit was “a waste of time,” Card responded that instead of working on health care, Obama should “establish a needs commission and fund that which the economy needs, not what everybody wants.”
I see. On Thursday, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) insisted that health care is just a “privilege,” and on Friday, Andy Card explained that health care coverage is a “want,” not a “need.”
Putting aside the inter-connectivity of health care and economic growth, these Republican arguments should make the debate over reform even easier. “Republicans think your family doesn’t ‘need’ health care coverage” has a nice sound-bite quality.