Thursday, September 10, 2009

The President's Speech to Congress

I'm not going to say a lot about the speech. Despite the glamorous ending it didn't knock me out. And surely the singlemost satisfying aspect was that he finally called out the GOPers as liars.

I didn't read any of the reactions except for Dan Froomkin, who is always worth a read. He points out what was missing, notably any mention of all the mysterious meetings with industry insiders. It's an ongoing worry that the deals cut to get industry support are going to screw us and we'll end up with a worse system than we have already.

However, on its face, when I summarized the talking points for my DetNews post, it doesn't sound all that bad. Short on details, but the lofty goals sound rather grand. Crack down on the worst practices of the industry, give individuals group power in purchasing policies, and the immediate availability of some sort of emergency coverage for those who aren't able to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions all sounds good in theory. The mandates not so much, especially since he didn't put forward the public option as a make or break part of the deal.

But he did what he had to do. He took charge of the narrative again and I agree with Bill Scher that the bottom line is Obama put the public option back on the field, it's now up to us to get it over the goal line. Obama's scolding about progressives making too much of it was irritating, but I think it was more political positioning than serious. In the present environment, he's better off not making it an issue, but we still have to, especially since getting real reform, like single payer feels nearly impossible.

Which is not to say we shouldn't try. I'm told that there's a Weiner-Welch amendment due to come to the floor that would replace the House bill with HR 676, the Single Payer bill. It's worth a shot to push it, but if that fails we will need the public option as a fall back position. Hell, if we get that far, it will be a lot farther than we as a country have advanced since they invented Medicare. So there's that.

And of course the main thing is bitching on blogs and in comment sections isn't going to get the job done. We have to contact our Congresspeople and tell them to do it. That's key.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous sandbun said...

Really? That was enough to get you drinking the kool-aid again? Even though all he demanded was a bailout for insurance companies? We'll see, but I don't think it was a game changer. I didn't hear anything that I think will convince Reps from spreading lies and he provided cover for the Dems to sell out.

9:49:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Not drinking the koolaid sandbun. We need reform, that's a given. He derailed the GOP fear-smear machine a bit, that's good. Now it's our job to light a fire under our Congresslizards and get them to deliver something real. It's not too late to try amd again, we're not even close to a final bill yet. Now is the time to pour on the pressure, let them now we're watching and there will be a price to pay if they sellout.

2:25:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home