Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Obama's speech to Congress

Politico has talking points that have been released in advance of President Barack Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress tonight.

I thought this particular point was very interesting, in light of what polls have said:

"Members heard a lot from their constituents over August including stories from people who are struggling with the rising cost of health care or who have been denied coverage because they or someone in their family got sick. One thing has became crystal clear to any member who really spent time talking to constituents last month: Doing nothing is not an option."

Actually, according to Rasmussen, that's not true. From an Aug. 17th article on

Most voters (54%) now say no health care reform legislation this year would be better than passage of the bill currently working its way through Congress. This does not mean that most voters are opposed to health care reform, but it does highlight the level of concern about the specifics now being discussed in Washington.

Doing nothing is an option, especially with 70% of Americans rating their own health insurance coverage as good or excellent.

However, if Senators and Representatives really want to do something that the American public would welcome, they could make the Congressional health plan available to everyone.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of U.S. voters say every American should be allowed to purchase the same health insurance plan that members of Congress use.

Note, too, the use of words in the talking point: "...any member who really spent time talking to constituents last month..." This is, I believe, a not-so-subtle slam on all the individuals who showed up at town halls to protest the specifics of the plan - or ask unanswered questions about the cost.

Many representatives didn't hold public meetings for their constituents, though many made appearances at friendly-crowd places like union halls. And while representatives 'talked to' constituents, many did not listen.

But that's the focus of the talking point: if Congress talked to the 'right' people, they heard what they wanted to hear and have 'approval' to go forward, when in actuality, going forward with a health care bill would mean Congress is overriding the 'will of the people.'

It will be interesting to see how closely the speech mirrors these released talking points.

And just for fun, you can play "Obama Health-Care Speech Bingo"


Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

IMNHO, tort reform (limiting damages), eliminating pre-existing limitations, and insurance availability across state lines would go a very long way towards fixing health care.

But that would empty too many politician's pockets to ever happen.

And just think of all of those "poor" lobbyists that this kind of change would put out of work. . . :-]

Tim Higgins said...


Once again, you bring to light one of the few truisms of government. It is that most people would rather that government did nothing than do something wrong, something that they will only make worse in their future attempts to fix, something that they will never retreat from when it proves a failure.

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