Thursday, September 10, 2009

On Obama's Health Care Speech

Besides the fact that Congressman Joe Wilson is now known as quite the fool. See articles denouncing his tomfoolery in his hometown newspaper The State, CNN, and the Times Online. The progressive group ActBlue is using the reckless outburst as a fundraising opportunity for Wilson's Democratic opponent.

Why did Wilson catcall the president? Obama claimed subsidies would not go to illegal immigrants and Wilson, obviously, strongly disputed this. Here is CNN's fact-check on the claims. The result: no subsidies to illegals although they could be required to buy insurance. So, really, the taxpayer isn't out if illegals contribute to the pool.


Relevant stakeholders provide their assessments of the president's health care speech. Some are convinced, some remain confused, and naturally, some won't believe anything Obama says.

The naysaysers might spend too much listening to this Arizona preacher who prays for Obama's death...

Yes, but what do I think? Good question. The purpose of Obama's health care address was twofold. First, he wanted to exhort a recalcitrant Congress to get its ass in gear. Second, the president wanted to remind the American public why health care reform is an imperative. Simply put, the status quo is unsustainable. In so doing, he confronted the waves of misinformation circulating in the press. Read this as a primer in misinformation. Further, he chastised Republicans for their unwillingness to put down their ideological swords in favor of a seat at the compromise table (naturally, Republicans found Obama's language "overly combative").

Having accomplished his two purposes in the speech, the question remains, can Obama achieve his substantive policy goal, which would be meaningful health care reform that includes a public option. My guess is that he will, but at what political price?

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