Blogs » Politcs Plus » The speech...My thoughts


President Barack Obama's speech last night turned the tide in his favor with a CNN overnight snapshot of a 67% approval from those who watched the joint session of Congress speech on Health Care Reform. It brought the ire of conservative kingpin Rush Limbaugh, causing him to call it a racist, partisan, boring, hate America speech filled with lies. I just knew Rush would make Congressman Joe Wilson, the new hero. He chastised the Republicans that apologized for Joe Wilson. Imagine that, a freshman congressman breaks the congressional decorum by calling the President a liar, on a national televised joint session of Congress; then he becomes an instant hero to the far right. Congressman Joe Wilson did apologize last night, and the White House accepted.

The speech did exactly what it was supposed to do, sway the moderates and independents, because the left and the right are entrenched in their own agenda. The president addressed the 85% of insured citizens by telling them they will not lose what they have. I know that Fact Check. Org and the AP questioned that statement because the Congressional Budget Office says some employers may change the cover options which means some people would be directly to force out in the current plans. The president was talking about language in the bill not future decisions employers might or might not make. The fact checkers also questioned his sincerity; when he said that the final bill would have to be deficit neutral. They use the HR 3200 as an example of increasing the deficit but that is not the final bill that will be signed by the president. He said that spending cuts makes sure that the bill he signs would not increase the deficit.

My favorite part of the speech was when he addressed the lies. We cannot have a meaningful dialogue when we spend a good part of the time filtering out the half-truths, distortions, exaggerations and outright lies. The president said he has talked to enough doctors to know that malpractice suits may be contributing to unnecessary cost. The GOP needs to bring out some data to back up their claims because we already have 33 states that limit "pain and suffering" damages in malpractice suits but insurance premiums continue to rise. Democrats have data that show tort reform will not have a significant impact on Health Care Reform costs.

This afternoon the president will call in his conservative and moderate Democrats for a “Come to Jesus meeting.” They will throw out the things that will not pass (public option) and concentrate on those items that will prevent a filibuster. The Democrats only have 59 senators, so the state of Massachusetts might come into play on the procedure they will use. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus said he will be ready to go next week, with, or without GOP support. The Republicans want to start all over but they just want to stall. They really wish they could go back to November of 2008. It is uncertain whether the House or the Senate will go first. The House will end up voting for the bill, twice, before the president will get a chance to sign it.

I don't usually recommend newspapers but if you are really interested on the issue of Health Care Reform, I recommend you spend a dollar and buy the USA Today. Today's edition is loaded with important material.