quick note re: obama speech (revised)

As most of y’all know by now, last night President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform. Personally, I thought it was an excellent speech. I didn’t agree with everything in it — mainly the requirement to carry health insurance. I understand the sentiment, but requirements such as this usually bring fines and the fines I’ve heard discussed seem pretty hefty and outside the budget of the average American. Also, Eric brings up an excellent point regarding Obama comparing health care insurance to auto insurance. And while I’m more for single-payer or universal health care, making sure there is at least a government-run public option for those who cannot afford private insurance or whose jobs do not (or cannot) provide it is a step in the right direction. I just hope that it’s only a first step and not a plateau. I also hope the passed bill takes into account those who are under-insured due to hefty deductibles. Any bill without at least a public option is laughable (co-ops would be a total joke, as would placing a trigger).

However, I do have a major concern: that Obama will not be able to get Congress to do the work it needs to do in order for the bill to be passed. I’ve never thought it would ever be a truly bi-partisan bill – the Republican Party in its current form is too busy flying off the crazy cliff. But even with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, there are conservative Democrats who seem determined to tag along with the GOP in their mid-air flight. That could very well sink the bill.

Plus I’m still leery after Obama’s refusal to at least place a moratorium on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell until a full repeal can be implemented. I understand that health care is near and dear to the president’s heart whereas ensuring equal rights for all American soldiers doesn’t seem to be. I also understand that equal access to quality health care affects far many more people than ensuring that qualified members of the military continue to serve their country. I just feel that there has been a precedent in the Obama’s presidency that makes me leery. Because of this, I still have reservations.

I hope that my reservations are unfounded.

P.S. Re: the Joe Wilson kerfluffle – those who say the Democrats did it first may be referring to the moans which Democratic lawmakers uttered during Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address in which he spoke about Social Security. Moaning and muttering “No” is not the same as calling Obama a liar when he is, in fact, telling the truth.

P.P.S – I revised the third paragraph to more closely reflect my thoughts – I was in a hurry and neglected to flesh out the reason for my reservations.

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