The President's Speech on Health Care

Let me be up front. I have supported, continue to support, and will continue to support the search for comprehensive health care reform. I believe, despite the rancor of the past month, that a majority of Americans want health care reform -- including a public option -- and that this is one of the reasons why they voted for the President.

I didn't hear the speech last night. I was at the Emergent Village event while he was speaking. I have taken a look at the papers, watched a recap on CNN, I have a good sense of what happened.

President Obama made it clear that health care reform is something he considers absolutely essential. He will work with whomever is willing to come to the table, but won't give into obstructionism (so as to appear bipartisan). He spelled out most of the key components, but admitted that there are details to be figured out.

I didn't watch the speech, so I can't gauge the reaction for myself. It sounds typical though. Republicans sat on their hands. Democrats applauded. The most notable response came from a conservative Republican, who yelled "Liar." I'll leave that inappropriate remark -- in its timing, etc. to stand on its own--oh and his name is Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

The Key point is this -- Now, not later is the time for action. If we don't act now, the issue will be lost for another generation. The Democrats have the votes in the House, and just need to round up a couple of Republicans and maintain their Caucus in the Senate. That's what the people voted for. So, let's seize the day!


I didn't watch either, but I read a transcript. I can't tell if he threw the public option under the bus or not. He stood up for it, but hasn't drawn a line in the sand--and Baucus' bill gives a weakened "trigger" version of the public option.

My problem is that this speech should've come in May. Then there should have been armtwisting to get the bill by August. We're past time for rallying the public; we're in the vote whip count stage.

It's time to get this done.
Gary said…
Git 'er done! I heard that this crap is not supposed to take effect until 2013. Why wait? If the situation is as desperate as obama, and others, say it is, why wait until 2013? I think I know. If the 2013 thing is true, that is designed so that the unpleasant effects of the legislation will not kick in until after the 2012 elections. Timing is everything.
Mystical Seeker said…
I didn't see the speech, but I listened to a discussion of it from a progressive perspective on KPFA this morning, including an interview with someone from the magazine "The Progressive", and the general reaction from the left did not appear to be positive. For one thing, he derided single-payer supporters from "the left" in his speech. In addition, he called for a public option that would only be available for those who couldn't get insurance any other way, which severely limits the usefulness of a public option and which really misses the point of why a public option is even proposed (he said that only 5% of Americans would sign up for it). And he even threw a huge bone to the right wing by calling for reforming malpractice insurance laws, which limits a form of redress that people have when they have been harmed by the medical system. All in all, I am not impressed.
Anonymous said…
Good point Gary. We need to get this going faster. Like NOW.

I'm done with my cryptic comments on what I think would be the answer-

I'll knock it off here after this rant (I promise Bob), but not elsewhere-

Creation already offers what is needed to get us over the health care “hump”…it’s hemp.
Honest and unbiased research has, and continues to prove it is 100% safe AND effective.

It can be trusted more than ALL “tested safe” new drugs.

I’m sick and tired of this being treated like a joke by both sides of this debate.

Now it is proven to protect from brain cancer. Gee, my mom had brain cancer.
Why deny me my “placebo”? The plant scared researchers for years because they didn’t know how it worked. Now they do. Every vertebrate has CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors including birds and fish and all mammals. They mediate effects of Cannabis-derived, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids in humans and other mammals.

Heal yourself. No blood tests needed… It won’t hurt your liver.

Google the terms marijuana and bible. Learn wisdom for yourselves if your vision God approved.

David Mc
charles smith said…
I think Obama is the shit...
Anonymous said…
Whip count says you don't have the votes.. sorry. Its sad it wasn't until the polls crumbled, support out the window, and a runaway caucus that you actually get some excitement. Whats really sad is dems have majorities.. super majorities.. and still can't get anything passed. Maybe.. just maybe.. this plan stinks if his own party doesn't support it?

But yes.. tort reform before I even get serious about talking about this subject. Medicine is an IMPERFECT science.. you don't sue your mechanic if you car breaks down, why can you get rich off a doctor?
Been with Moltmann all day, but here's my response. Charles, well . . . Michael and Mystical Seeker. It's all well and good to go for broke, but remember you need 60 votes to avoid a fillibuster. Right now, the Dems lack those 60 votes. They need at least one if not 2 GOPers. So you'll have to compromise. Pure and simple, that's the way the game is played.

Chuck, I don't know what Whip Count is, so can't comment on their count. My hunch is that the two senators from Maine will vote for the final Senate option, which will have to be reconciled in committee with whatever the House offers. That will give cover to the more conservative senators.

I do think that Mr. Wilson of SC was a gift to Obama his town hall like outburst will stand out as the GOP response.

But only time will tell, won't it!
Anonymous said…
Okay Bob, I’ll keep to this page, how’s that?

The silence is deafening. Like it always is when I bring this subject up. Even Gary ignores it. This only proves the unjust stigma associated with it. It could be out of fear (you or someone you love uses) or you saw the movie “Reefer Madness” and think the blacks and Hispanics are going to go “loco” on you.
Maybe it’s just general apathy.

All the stigma and fear is generated by those who profit off the backs of the innocent. 800,000 Americans arrested and jailed or fines last year, mostly for simple personal possession! There’s big money riding on the statuesque. The obvious guilty ones, Law enforcement, illegal drug producers and dealers, Insurance executives, health care giants, urine testing labs Xe (formerly Black Water) etc. aren’t the only ones involved in this- Big Tobacco, alcohol, and the profit driven drug researchers all want this to continue. It keeps many away from pursuing even their rights when the state they live in allows it. Oh, but a few Prozac or Zanax(?) is cool and personal.

Let my unemployed neighbor grow and sell me some.
How can the young see that mainstream Christians care? Do they? Here’s a real mission. Don’t let the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church or the Rastas beat you to those members. David Mc

Too Much Booze or tobacco = Death vs Too Much Weed = Sleep

Annual Causes of Death in the United States
Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity
85,000 1
Microbial Agents
Toxic Agents
Motor Vehicle Crashes
Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs
Incidents Involving Firearms
Sexual Behaviors
All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect
17,0001, 5

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin

Oh well. Time to email Obama again.

I do think that there are reasons for us to look at marijuana for medicinal purposes. And as for casual use, well the war on drugs sure isn't working. Maybe a different tactic would work!
Anonymous said…
Trust me. Time to re-legaize

Lots of good info here
Anonymous said…
One way I might be baptised as an adult. Early Christians used cannabis oil for medicinal purposes and as part of the baptismal process to confirm the forgiveness of sins and "right of passage" into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

David Mc
Anonymous said…
That's why I love Cornwall..he's no coward.

One last comment. I promise you, no stupid commercials. The kind where they tell you at the end, real fast, the dozen or so ways it might kill tou. Hey, feeling depressed and suicidal? here's a new drug for you to take with your other drug we sell you that doesn't work. Maybe you wish can come true. Look at the list of possibilities! God, release me. David Mc
Anonymous said…
Wow, a list of American heroes. They missed Rick Steve. There must be a dozen US presidents. Abe Lincoln too?
John said…
I heard a recent discussion with an author who contrasted the various universal health care plans throughout the world. Several things stood out to me. First was that in those countries with it there seemed to be a certain agreement that whatever the problems with their systems, they would never trade it for our system. Another standout was the description of what appears to be a genuinely superior system in France.

Here's the link:

Mystical Seeker said…
Bob, if you are saying that the problems with the health care reform process are at least in part due to inherent problems in our political system, I would agree. I think that Obama's failings are a symptom of deeper problems. I never expected him to be any sort of savior, and he has confirmed my low expectations. A lot of liberals who were gung ho for him in the past have now lost confidence in him ( I never had confidence in him in the first place. The sort of weak and inadequate health "reform" package that Obama is advocating will not give us real reform, and it looks like the Democrats will blow it once again.

I was listening to KPFA this morning, and they were interviewing David Swanson of He has written a book about the imperial presidency, and one of the things he talked about was how Obama the pre-president went on at length about how terrible Bush's signing statements were, and yet now as President he is doing the same crap on that score that Bush was doing. Meet the new boss--same as the old boss. It's despicable, but that's politics as usual. Again, we should not be surprised by any of this. It goes way beyond Obama and really has to do with the way politics are carried out in this country.

It seems to me that people of faith are obligated to serve as independent voices of conscience. If one joins forces with those in the political establishment, one loses your independent credibility, and one ends up making excuses for or serving as an apologist for a corrupt process. I think that as independent voices of conscience people of faith are obligated to speak out for what is right or just, even if that means acting counter to the "compromises" and deal-making and corporate sellouts and presidential power grabs that are part and parcel of American politics.
Anonymous said…

A lot of the anger is overblown though and appears to be racial at its worst roots. I agree with you though. He backs down awfully quickly. When Fox news says jump, he jumps. i.e.

I supported Obama reluctantly in the end. I actually supported Ron Paul till his race was done.

I even gave him money. The Huffington post publishes it if I you Google my name. That sucks.

Anyway, Biden's probably worse, so let us pray for the president’s heath and safety...and some extra wisdom and courage. Letters and email maybe can’t hurt. I never did that before. He’s gotten my opinion on a number of issues.

Seems Van Jones was a cofounder of Color of Change. His demise was a hit job in response to the orginazation warning sponsors of his behavior. Many dropped him. Revenge on Jones, and it worked. Not so impressive.

Beck responded to the success of the Color of Change campaign by launching a blistering attack, devoting parts of 23 shows to attacking Van Jones. It is important for progressives to understand the Van Jones episode, for it speaks volumes about how the right wing media echo machine works. Beck is a fringe wingnut. Yet he was able to use his race-baiting tactics to bring down the most progressive political activist in the White House. In the process, the White House has revealed itself as weak and easily intimidated by a mere television pundit. David Mc
aaroncrowe said…
Health care or not, I’m partisan to a president that can lower my taxes and fix what the housing market “greed” created… Just get the job market back up and avoid more scams…

Popular posts from this blog

Chosen Ones -- Lectionary Reflection for Easter 6B

Is Jesus Crazy? -- Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost 2B

God the Creator - A Lectionary Reflection for Trinity Sunday A (Genesis)