Despite the ‘talking heads’, the pundits, sages, partisan nuts and even the mainstream newscasts, health care reform just might pass this fall. A lot is depending on President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress this week. He’s going to have to:
1. Present a health care bill that is simple and straight forward — not 1000+ pages of doublespeak.
2. Tell Americans exactly how we will pay it.
3. Challenge the Blue Dog Democrats – and Senator Joe Lieberman – to support him on a matter of moral importance.
4. Convince centrists Republicans that ultra-right wing propaganda does accurately reflect public, or even Republican, opinion.
President Obama and health care reform (including the public option) have a lot going for them:
1. Americans know that something must be done… Last week, the AARP published the results of a poll showing 79 percent of the American people support “a new federal health insurance plan that individuals could purchase.”
2. Most Americans hate insurance companies… For decades, the health insurance companies have made a fortune (over $60 billion in profits over the last eight years) by denying claims, denying insurance because of pre-existing conditions, making health care decisions instead of doctors and raising premiums almost four times faster than wages.
3. There is a lot of support for a public plan…The latest SurveyUSA poll, meanwhile, showed that 77 percent of Americans think it’s important “to give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance.”
4. As the vote grows closer, Blue Dog Democrats will begin to realize the price they will pay personally if health insurance reform fails.
5. The Obama Administration will use every ounce of its political capital to win this battle, and the Obama base has been energized.
The public health insurance option as defined in both the Senate HELP bill and the House bill (HR 3200) is not a far-left liberal proposal. A far-left liberal proposal would actually be a single-payer plan. The public option is actually a program supported by almost everyone, despite the misleading way it’s currently being discussed by Republicans, town hall wingnuts, cable news “smackdown” panelists and other very serious members of the Washington establishment