Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What We Won't Hear Tonight

President Obama plans to spell out this vision of health care reform to the US in a nationally televised address to both houses of Congress tonight. His speech represents a defining moment in the health care reform effort - a defining moment for our nation. The Democrats know it. And the Rebublicans know it. (Unfortunately Oprah missed the importance of the evening and is holding her own affair here in Chicago.)

We will hear references to the unsustainable nature of our current entitlement systems, about how not acting now on health care reform only threatens to make things worse. We can expect references to Ted Kennedy. We will see someone in the balcony that was denied insurance. We will hear of he plight of millions of Americans (will they use the number 46, 47 or 50 million?) without insurance. Will will hear of reaching accross the aisle. We will hear something about a trigger. And we will hear about the public option:
President Barack Obama, in a high-stakes speech Wednesday to Congress and the nation, will press for a government-run insurance option in a proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system that has divided lawmakers and voters for months.

White House officials say the president will detail what he wants in the health-care overhaul, as well as say he is open to better ideas on a government plan if lawmakers have them.

Democratic plans call for requiring most Americans to carry health insurance. Failure to comply could cost families as much as $3,800 a year, according to a new Senate proposal.
The speech will be eloquently delivered. And the House and Senate will sit as they always do, interrupting the speech with thundrous applause on multiple occasions.

But what we won't hear is this:

Congress has already exempted itself from the Public Option.



Robin said...

As always, you hit the nail on the head.

Duncan Cross said...

So what? None of the bills in Congress requires anybody to choose the public option. Only a fraction of the population will even have access to the public option. I agree the public option should be more robust, but whether or not Congress is 'exempt' doesn't really affect whether I have access to health care.

Keith said...


Just as Mr Cross stated. It seems that denying the public option decreases the choices of members of congress and federal employees. Having said that, I would think it best to offer it as an option.

Regardless of this fact, the public option is just that; an OPTION; not a mandate or anyone taking away your current health insurance if you already have it (I bet he will say this tonight too).

I suggest all the nayayers of health reform get together and push elimination of Medicare as a goverment run program. After all, this is a goverment run program with benefits dictated by Washington beuracrats that we need to do away with before it bankrupts our goverment. We could offer private insurance options to our seniors that they can pay for in the marketplace (or be deducted from their social security checks. Nevermind that there will be no money left for food or housing). It will undoubtedly give them more choice and isn't that what we want? The problem is that most of the choices will suck! But the good news is it will balance the federal budget in one year!

jimmy bakes said...

I think Obama is doing a great job go to sleep people or drink a cup of coffee...

MaddMedic said...

A great job at what?

DrWes said...


So what?

The very lack of an endorsement by Congress to include the Public Option as one of their 300+ plans available to their members in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) is a damning vote of no-confidence about the quality of what will be offered to the rest of the uninsured (or underinsured) in America.

Keith -

No one is suggesting that Congress get rid of Medicare, but rather, make it fiscally sustainable. It would make much more sense to fix a government program that we understand before imposing additional crushing financial obligations on our populace with a system that is untried, untested, and to date, prohibitively expensive.

Keith said...


The system is not untried. It is called Medicare! The goverment has been running it and making benefit determinations for years, and as far as I know, no one has euthanized granny yet. If you insist on disparging the idea of a public option plan, why is it OK to continue Medicare? It would seem those most frightened by the prospect of a public health option have to reconcile why Medicare is OK to preserve, but a public option plan puts us in serious danger of a goverment takeover.

Medicare was created in the Johnson era due to an inability of th eprivate market to provide adequate and affordable insurance to elderly citizens. Now we have a large uninsured population that is in the same boat due to preexisting conditions and lack of affordable options. Where is the difference?

And if the beuracrats made the plan so onerous, as everyone is stating they will do, what is to prevent people from changing to a private plan under the proposed guidelines?

Duncan Cross said...

Wes - actually, I interpret it as a vote of confidence by the insurance industry; they are so afraid it will be effective, they want it limited to as few people as possible (preferably none). I'm perfectly willing to take my chances on the public option; I'll be first in line when it becomes available.

charles smith said...

I think Obama is the shit...

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…including “communism”