Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Thoughts (And Grade) of President Obama's Health Care Speech

Flowery language: A

I'll admit it. He still speaks well, with complete sentences actually. Nice.

Refuting attacks: A-

He finally called a lie a lie. Good on him. It may not stop the Republicans from lying some more, but maybe there's a chance that crap like "DEATH PANELS!!!!!" and "GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER!!!!!!" stop gaining traction.

Policy: C+

Yes, he finally said "public option"... But then caved some by remaining "open" to co-op craps and never-to-be-enforced "triggers". And worse, he called on Congressional Democrats to be ready to cave in as well. I hope they ignore those sentences from him. And hopefully, Obama himself isn't all that serious in selling out his progressive base AND the chance for real health care reform for a few feel-good "we'll say there's no more preexisting condition discrimination, but let the HMOs continue to do whatever they want" thirty pieces of silver.

Overall: B

Again, the speech seems like a good step forward after all the floundering around that has thrown The White House into the mess it's now in. Maybe we can still salvage HR 3200 and make it a good bill. However, there were some clear warning signs that all isn't well.

President Obama still seems ready to capitulate on important issues like a strong Medicare-like public option if he thinks he'll get a "bipartisan reform bill" to call a "victory" regardless of whether or not we the people actually benefit from it. This is where "The Progressive Block" steps in.

House and Senate Progressives must absolutely do whatever they can to ensure a strong public option survives in the final health care reform package! And in the mean time, we need to keep the phones ringing off the hook and the email inboxes completely full at Harry Reid's, Shelley Berkley's, and Dina Titus' respective offices. All of them say they "support a public option", but none of them have yet taken the pledge to ensure we have one. We need to make them commit, and we must make sure President Obama doesn't just sign any bill, but rather a good bill that will actually help people.

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