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Here we go: Obama's health care address to joint session of Congre

Health Care Obama Speech 2009

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#41 Rhea

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:31 PM

I forgot to say that I thought he spoke well - he neither consulted notes nor looked at a teleprompter as best I can tell. It's a big change from a president who couldn't get through two sentences without some kind of malpropism. ;)

Edited by Rhea, 09 September 2009 - 08:32 PM.

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#42 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

quoting the text (emphasis added by me)

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For those individuals and small businesses who still cannot afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we will provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need. And all insurance companies that want access to this new marketplace will have to abide by the consumer protections I already mentioned. This exchange will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right. In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill. This was a good idea when Senator John McCain proposed it in the campaign, it's a good idea now, and we should embrace it.

Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers. The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people's expensive emergency room visits. If some businesses don't provide workers health care, it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors. And unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek – especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions – just can't be achieved.

That's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.

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#43 Nick

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:37 PM

^Devil's in the details Lil.  I don't like required insurance at all, but it's much "less worse" if it only becomes a requirement once the exchange is online vs. takes effect immediately.

Side question follow up:  Thanks, Scott.  I looked it up.  First joint session was for the stimulus bill back in February.

Edited by Nick, 09 September 2009 - 08:38 PM.


#44 Spectacles

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:39 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on Sep 9 2009, 09:31 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on Sep 9 2009, 06:26 PM, said:

View PostBad Wolf, on Sep 9 2009, 08:44 PM, said:

The public option is for serious injury.  The mandate is for basic coverage (like check ups, periodic testing, flue...).  Two completely different animals.

Huh? No....

The public option would be one among the choices of insurance available to people who have no insurance through work, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no VA. People who have no insurance can get insurance through a health insurance exchange. The public option would be a government-administered insurance alternative to the private insurance offered through the health insurance exchange. Think of it as one item in a basket of choices for the uninsured.

The mandate will be that everyone has to have a certain level of insurance coverage. If you're on Medicare, Medicaid, VA or have insurance through work, you're covered. If not, the mandate requires that you get insured--hence the insurance exchange where you will be offered choices of private insurance. If a public option passed, the choice of a public option would be there, too.


The exchange doesn't happen for FOUR YEARS.  I'm talking about now.

And he said "basic medical coverage".  Not "a certain level".


Lil, what do you mean when you say "The public option is for serious injury. The mandate is for basic coverage..."? I'm confused.

The public option would be an insurance plan that's part of the exchange.

The mandate is simply a law that we all have to have insurance, which most of us will have through work, Medicare, etc.

I think I don't understand what you're saying.


P.S> You were posting when I was posting.

This bolded part is not the public option--it's a different stop-gap plan to address needs right away:

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In the meantime, for those Americans who can't get insurance today because they have pre-existing medical conditions, we will immediately offer low-cost coverage that will protect you against financial ruin if you become seriously ill.

Edited by Spectacles, 09 September 2009 - 08:43 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

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#45 Christopher

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:53 PM

This ranks with the inaugural address as the finest, most impassioned piece of public speaking I've ever seen from President Obama.  In the past, I've often wished he could put more emotion into his speaking style, and here, especially toward the end, he really delivered.  Toward the end there, I was enraptured.  Whatever else he does or doesn't accomplish, he's surely the finest presidential orator of my lifetime.

But I was just as impressed by the substance.  He spelled out a plan that seems straightforward and reasonable, he pointed out that Congress is already 80% of the way to consensus, he expressed willingness to work with both sides to reconcile the remaining concerns, he extended some very gracious olive branches to the right and showed a willingness to consider and incorporate their ideas (I particularly liked his endorsement of an idea John McCain proposed in the campaign -- very classy, that), and he came out aggressively against the lies and idiocy that threaten to derail a vitally important process of problem-solving in the name of petty politics and corporate self-interest.  So he was conciliatory without coming off as a pushover.

Although President Obama is striving to change the nature of the conversation in Washington, to make it actually be about governing and serving the public good again rather than purely about political gamesmanship, this speech was certainly politically shrewd.  It put across the idea that if this fails, it's not because the president was inflexible, but because his opponents were, because the insurance companies and ideologues sabotaged the process in the name of their own interests.  So the people's blame for a failure might fall more on Congressional Republicans than on the president.

Though of course failure should not be an option, and hopefully this speech and the subsequent actions of the White House will help push through a real solution.  It's a national embarrassment that we've been unable to solve this problem in a hundred years of trying.

But in the end, this became about more than health care.  It became about the whole nature of government and its role in a just society.  Between the ideas being expressed, the elegance of the writing, and the rhetorical excellence of the delivery, I found myself experiencing a strange sensation as though I were watching a triumphal moment in an episode of The West Wing.  In my mind, I was hearing Martin Sheen deliver the words even as President Obama delivered them.  To me, as a writer, hearing good words delivered with such eloquence is as significant as the ideas being expressed.  But more than that; Sorkin's Jed Bartlet was a brilliant, eloquent president, professorial yet inspiring in his rhetoric, progressive but not blinded by ideology, and he placed governance above politics while not dismissing politics as a tool for governing.  Watching President Obama tonight, now that he finally elevated his oratorical style to this level and expounded on Sorkinesque musings about the value of government and the character of our country, was like watching Jed Bartlet, except it was real.


However, in terms of the president's approach and timing, I found myself somewhat reminded of the lead characters in some courtroom dramas -- attorneys who find themselves on the ropes throughout the trial, but then come through in the final act with a brilliant speech that sums everything up and turns the tide.  He's done it before, with his masterful speech on race during the campaign after all that Reverend Wright nonsense, and to some extent with his speech before Congress about the economic crisis (though in that case he was delayed at addressing the problem due to having to wait until he was actually inaugurated).  Hopefully this speech will be the turning point and things will actually get done soon.
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#46 BklnScott

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:55 PM

The congressman who yelled "liar!" when Obama said the plan would not cover illegal immigrants (because WHAT a horror *that* would be): Rep Joe Wilson, R-SC.  And here's his office phone #: 803-939-0041.

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#47 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:58 PM

“We have pulled this economy back from the brink.”

Say what, now? Unemployment is at a 27-year high!

“Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change what you have.”

Which doesn't mean that your employer won't 'change what you have' anyway. :cool:

“I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business.”

Of course not. He needs two or three of them to become government-run enterprises. :cool:


Sounds like the president attempted to position himself against Congress. Desperate Clinton-style triangulation? If he'd done that, oh, say, in June, then perhaps it might work. But he spent the summer just tooling around letting the Congressional Democrats write the bills instead of taking a leadership role on this issue. So I think it's a little too late for that strategy to work.
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#48 sierraleone

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:59 PM

FYI Your title has an error in it, I believe. Proposing, is it not?

Edited by Dev F, 09 September 2009 - 10:12 PM.
This post is carried over from Bad Wolf's separate thread on the speech

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#49 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:01 PM

View PostChristopher, on Sep 9 2009, 08:53 PM, said:

This ranks with the inaugural address as the finest, most impassioned piece of public speaking I've ever seen from President Obama.

Oy vey.

Well, perhaps what you mean is "He always gives lousy speeches, and this one is the least lousy."

(Because he's a terrible speaker. He is, objectively, quite awful. I simply do not see this great, mesmerizing orator that the media swoons over. He, objectively, sucks at it.)

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He's done it before, with his masterful speech on race during the campaign after all that Reverend Wright nonsense, . . .

And then destroyed the illusion for his pal Henry Louis Gates.  :sarcasm:

Quote

Between the ideas being expressed, the elegance of the writing, and the rhetorical excellence of the delivery, I found myself experiencing a strange sensation as though I were watching a triumphal moment in an episode of The West Wing. In my mind, I was hearing Martin Sheen deliver the words even as President Obama delivered them. To me, as a writer, hearing good words delivered with such eloquence is as significant as the ideas being expressed. But more than that; Sorkin's Jed Bartlet was a brilliant, eloquent president, professorial yet inspiring in his rhetoric, progressive but not blinded by ideology, and he placed governance above politics while not dismissing politics as a tool for governing. Watching President Obama tonight, now that he finally elevated his oratorical style to this level and expounded on Sorkinesque musings about the value of government and the character of our country, was like watching Jed Bartlet, except it was real.

You're reminding me that I should really post my essay about The West Wing, which I recently started watching. It is such a glowingly idealized version of Washington that I often have to stop the DVDs and have a good laugh. It's the left as they see themselves: always wonderful and heroic and good and working for the betterment of America. If they have flaws, they're the sort of flaws one puts on his resume: "I care too much! I work too hard! I try too hard to help other people! I'm just a gosh-darned perfectionist! Woe is me!" :cool:

Edited by Drew, 09 September 2009 - 09:09 PM.

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#50 Vapor Trails

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:09 PM

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:01 PM, said:

View PostChristopher, on Sep 9 2009, 08:53 PM, said:

This ranks with the inaugural address as the finest, most impassioned piece of public speaking I've ever seen from President Obama.

Oy vey.

Well, perhaps what you mean is "He always gives lousy speeches, and this one is the least lousy."

(Because he's a terrible speaker. He is, objectively, quite awful. I simply do not see this great, mesmerizing orator that the media swoons over. He, objectively, sucks at it.)

To be totally blunt:

I don't give a rat's arse how well the president speaks. It's irrelevant. There are people in dire straits out there. They don't have time for pretty speeches. I happen to know a couple of them personally. I couldn't give a sh!t if this were a Republican or Democratic president.

The only thing I give a damn about in the end are CONCRETE RESULTS. TOO MUCH smoke and mirrors have been put forth by BOTH parties. Pretty speeches don't mean a damn thing if there aren't concrete results that actually HELP people.
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#51 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:12 PM

View PostBklnScott, on Sep 9 2009, 08:55 PM, said:

The congressman who yelled "liar!" when Obama said the plan would not cover illegal immigrants (because WHAT a horror *that* would be): Rep Joe Wilson, R-SC.

Well, you didn't think a Democrat would be against free health care for illegal immigrants, did you? :cool:
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#52 Vapor Trails

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:18 PM

Oh, and just in case someone asks me:

"If you don't 'give a sh!t' about his speech, Saul-then why are you videotaping it?"

Quite simple-Obama IS America's first black president, and I wouldn't mind having a record of what he says-since this IS historic. That DOESN'T mean I'm going to necessarily buy into what Obama says. Some snake-oil salesmen can be smooth talkers.

Is Obama selling snake oil? We'll have to stay tuned, won't we? :whatsthat:
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#53 DWF

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:21 PM

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:01 PM, said:

You're reminding me that I should really post my essay about The West Wing, which I recently started watching. It is such a glowingly idealized version of Washington that I often have to stop the DVDs and have a good laugh. It's the left as they see themselves: always wonderful and heroic and good and working for the betterment of America. If they have flaws, they're the sort of flaws one puts on his resume: "I care too much! I work too hard! I try too hard to help other people! I'm just a gosh-darned perfectionist! Woe is me!" :cool:

No, it's Aaron Sorkin's view and it idealized but then it's a TV show, don't expect Jed Bartlett's view of Librals to be any more all encompassing than Alex Keaton's view of Conservatives.
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#54 Vapor Trails

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:24 PM

Ahhhhhh-never mind :p

Edited by Ghost Rider, 09 September 2009 - 09:26 PM.

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#55 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:26 PM

View PostGhost Rider, on Sep 9 2009, 09:24 PM, said:

Can you and I agree that BOTH Dems and Republicans SUCK??? :p :p

I like some Republicans. I don't care for a single Democrat. (Oh, maybe that guy from Idaho, though.) But I think my main goal is to see every member of Congress replaced, regardless of party. TERM LIMITS! NOW! :cool:


View PostDWF, on Sep 9 2009, 09:21 PM, said:

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:01 PM, said:

You're reminding me that I should really post my essay about The West Wing, which I recently started watching. It is such a glowingly idealized version of Washington that I often have to stop the DVDs and have a good laugh. It's the left as they see themselves: always wonderful and heroic and good and working for the betterment of America. If they have flaws, they're the sort of flaws one puts on his resume: "I care too much! I work too hard! I try too hard to help other people! I'm just a gosh-darned perfectionist! Woe is me!" :cool:

No, it's Aaron Sorkin's view and it idealized but then it's a TV show, don't expect Jed Bartlett's view of Librals to be any more all encompassing than Alex Keaton's view of Conservatives.

What?  :dontgetit:

Edited by Drew, 09 September 2009 - 09:47 PM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#56 DWF

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:29 PM

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:26 PM, said:

View PostDWF, on Sep 9 2009, 09:21 PM, said:

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:01 PM, said:

You're reminding me that I should really post my essay about The West Wing, which I recently started watching. It is such a glowingly idealized version of Washington that I often have to stop the DVDs and have a good laugh. It's the left as they see themselves: always wonderful and heroic and good and working for the betterment of America. If they have flaws, they're the sort of flaws one puts on his resume: "I care too much! I work too hard! I try too hard to help other people! I'm just a gosh-darned perfectionist! Woe is me!" :cool:

No, it's Aaron Sorkin's view and it idealized but then it's a TV show, don't expect Jed Bartlett's view of Librals to be any more all encompassing than Alex Keaton's view of Conservatives.

What?  :dontgetit:

You made a generalization about Democrats and The West Wing that isn't really true, it's Aaron Sorkin's view of Washington not the view of all Democrats.
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#57 Batrochides

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:37 PM

Perhaps a Freudian slip?

Sorry, Lil, I couldn't help it!

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#58 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:41 PM

Definitely a slip.  I want this thread merged with Specs' anyways.

Edited by Dev F, 09 September 2009 - 10:13 PM.
This post is carried over from Bad Wolf's separate thread on the speech

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#59 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:48 PM

View PostDWF, on Sep 9 2009, 09:29 PM, said:

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:26 PM, said:

View PostDWF, on Sep 9 2009, 09:21 PM, said:

View PostDrew, on Sep 9 2009, 10:01 PM, said:

You're reminding me that I should really post my essay about The West Wing, which I recently started watching. It is such a glowingly idealized version of Washington that I often have to stop the DVDs and have a good laugh. It's the left as they see themselves: always wonderful and heroic and good and working for the betterment of America. If they have flaws, they're the sort of flaws one puts on his resume: "I care too much! I work too hard! I try too hard to help other people! I'm just a gosh-darned perfectionist! Woe is me!" :cool:

No, it's Aaron Sorkin's view and it idealized but then it's a TV show, don't expect Jed Bartlett's view of Librals to be any more all encompassing than Alex Keaton's view of Conservatives.

What?  :dontgetit:

You made a generalization about Democrats and The West Wing that isn't really true, it's Aaron Sorkin's view of Washington not the view of all Democrats.

Uh? I didn't even mention Democrats. I made a statement regarding the tone with with Aaron Sorkin wrote The West Wing.  :dontgetit:

Edited by Drew, 09 September 2009 - 10:01 PM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#60 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:51 PM

You're right it's "seriously ill" not "seriously injured".  The problem remains the same.

What about prenatal care?  What about hospital health care for delivering mothers?  What about mammograms, prostate exams, pap smears?  The kinds of PREVENTIVE measures designed to avoid serious illness. Those are part of "basic coverage" and there is no pre exchange low cost option for that but there is still a mandate requiring everyone to have "basic coverage".  This is nonsense.

I'm an attorney.  But I work on a contract basis.  I make decent money, certainly enough to afford private insurance.  BUT I'm having the devil of a time getting it because of previous and continuing health issues.

I'm unlikely to qualify for a "hardship" exemption.  People like me never do.  I'm not disabled.  I don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.  And yet it's going to be a MANDATE that I have basic coverage?  Or else?  Even if this exchange that's supposed to happen in four years works what about the time between, not just for me but for MANY like me.  Oh yes if I come down with cervical cancer or something, I'll get coverage, but what if early detection could have helped?

People who already qualify for subsidized medicine already get it.  Hell, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS get coverage.  

Maybe I should give up law and go work for Starbucks because even a lowly barrista gets coverage that someone like me gets denied.

And YES I'm taking this very personally.  It's PERSONAL.  Damned straight it is and I'm not going to apologize for that.

Edited by Bad Wolf, 09 September 2009 - 09:52 PM.

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