President Obama delivered on health care reform through his speech to Congress on September 9. Yes, it was only a speech but after months of vacillations and wrong signals, he cut through the lies and innuendos of Republicans and laid out his plan in clear, powerful language. It was vintage Obama and a persuasive call for action. The President’s health care bill has now a realistic chance of becoming law.
Obama had help, although from unexpected quarters. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina screamed “You lie!” when the President declared that illegal immigrants were ineligible for health care. Wilson was wrong and his indecorous behavior revealed the bankrupt tactics of the Republicans to undermine the President at any cost. Support for Obama swelled after the speech.
What also helped was Obama’s quoting the late Senator Kennedy’s last thoughts on the subject that he considered the ultimate goal of his life. "What we face," Kennedy wrote, "is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." (Here is Kennedy's final letter).
A companion piece to read with Obama’s speech would be Food Guru Michael Pollan’s take on Big Food vs. Big Insurance. Much food for though there.
Now, full steam ahead on health care.