Rich Galen

The bloom is off the Obama rose. After getting just about everything he wanted out of the Democrat-controlled Congress for the first six months of his Presidency, it doesn't look like Barack Obama is going to get the health care overhaul he was seeking prior to the August recess.

The other day I spoke with Mark Z. Barabak, who is officially listed as "a roving political writer for the Los Angeles Times" by the Los Angeles Times about the whole health care deal.

I said that when it comes to the Cash-for-Clunkers deal, no one has to buy a new car. When it comes to fixing a bridge, no bridge has to be fixed. When it comes to bailing out AIG and GM and Chrysler, and Bank of America, and the rest of the wall street crooks for 17 gillion dollars, none of them has to be bailed out.

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But when it comes to health insurance … that's personal.

People who are in their 20's and early 30's consider themselves to be - as the military folks like to say - bulletproof and invisible. I suspect they are a significant portion of the "uninsured."

They don't think they are likely to get sick, and they drive their cars with such skill and dexterity that an accident is not in their line of sight.

From their mid-30's onward, anyone with children worries about their kids getting sick or, worse yet, injured and they want to be certain that should that, God forbid, happen that they can get their child the care he or she needs.

When we get into our 40's and 50's, the aches and pains run the risk of becoming heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes and we start worry a great deal about really big medical bills for things which, previously, had only been an issue for our parents.

I remember watching an HBO documentary a hundred years ago about a family of small time crooks who robbed convenience stores and sold (and used) drugs. Every time they were busted, which was just about every time they tried to boost a boom box from a drug store in Queens, they were hauled into court and were represented by a lawyer paid for by the taxpayers of the City of New York.

I thought then, and I think now, that if we can provide a lawyer for really stupid and ignorant petty criminals, we should be able to provide a doctor for sick children.

The problem for Obama, as I explained to Mark Barabas, is no one understands what in the world his plan is. If he has a plan. No one knows what is in the House bill and there isn't a Senate bill well developed enough for serious consideration.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at