Only Sen. Michael Bennet can deliver a full-contact well-supported muscular line on health care like “The status quo is eating people alive all across this country” in an impressively no-frills monotone. In the age of cable news and shouted joint-session epithets, Bennet’s nonstyle deadpan may be the most effective speech-making posture of all. Anti-flash is the new charisma. No “death panels.” No “die quickly.” Bennet won’t be tempted to go over the top because he’s genetically incapable.
Video after the jump.
As debate over every topic raised since Obama has taken office has demonstrated, there are no agreed upon facts. There are no facts that can be agreed upon. There are no givens. There is no consensus on the most basic sets of numbers. These are Bennet’s. He’s attempting to set a base on which discussion can build. A for effort. GOP feeder institute Heritage Foundation no doubt has an entirely different and competing set of base numbers.
Mr. President, the median income in Colorado has actually declined by $800 over the last 10 years. At the same time, the cost of health insurance has gone up by 97%. It has doubled over that period of time and that has happened all over the country. This slide shows the difference between the rate of the increase of wages in my state from 2000 to 2007 versus the rate of the increase in insurance.
I have talked to small business people all across the state of Colorado and they’ve said they’re trying to continue to insure their employees just as they had for generations in family owned businesses, but they’re finding that they have to make a tradeoff between people’s wages because the cost of insurance is getting so large. By 2016, in my state, working families in Colorado are going to be spending roughly 40% of their income on health care if we don’t change the status quo.