Friday, March 19, 2010

Obama: 'The time for reform is now'.

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Obama has tied his healthcare reform to the campaign promises he made whilst running to win the Democratic nomination, and has promised that "We are going to do something historic this weekend".

He reminds his audience that Teddy Roosevelt was the first person to advocate that Americans should have universal healthcare and that Richard Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson and presidents of both political parties have called for the American health system to be changed and improved.

He warned that should this bill fail, insurance companies will continue to run amok.
Obama: "So the only question left is this: are we going to let the special interests win once again? Or are we going to make this vote a victory for the American people?"
He then listed the numerous lies which the Republicans and the folks over at Fox News have thrown at this bill.
"What we're talking about is common sense reform. You've been hearing a whole bunch of nonsense."

"It's a debate that is not only about the cost of our health care but the character of our country, it is about whether we can still meet the challenges of our time, about we still have the guts and the courage to give every citizen a chance," Obama said.

He pointed to contentious debates decades ago over creating the now-popular Social Security and Medicare programs and enacting civil rights laws. "As messy as this process is, as frustrating as this process is, as ugly as this process can be, when we have faced such decisions in our past, this nation time and time again has chosen to extend its promise to more of its people," Obama said.

The crowd we were told were allowed in on a first come first served basis. At first I had doubts about whether or not that was true, but it's reported that there was the odd cry of, "No socialism", so I suppose it was. However, the overwhelming response was incredibly positive.

He then mocked the way this issue has played out in the press:
"Is this more of an advantage for Democrats or Republicans? What's it going to mean for Obama? Will his presidency be crippled? .... Or will he be the comeback kid?" he mocked. "A lot of reporting in Washington, it's just like Sports Center. You know, it's considered a sport and who's up and who's down and everybody's keeping score and you got the teams going at it. It's rock 'em sock 'em robots."


Look, I don't know how this plays politically. Nobody really does.


I don't know what going to happen with the politics on this thing. I don't know whether my poll numbers go down or they go up, I don't know what happens in terms of Democrats versus Republicans; but here is what I do know. I do know that this bill, this legislation, is going to be enormously important for America's future. I do know the impact it will have on the millions of Americans who need our help. And the millions more who may not need our help right now, but a year from now, or five years from now, ten years from now, if they have some bad luck. If Heaven forbid, they get sick. If they have a pre-existing condition, if their child has a pre-existing condition. If they lose their job, if they want to start a company. I know the impact it will have on them.
He's always said that he doesn't care whether he is doomed to be only a one term president, as he considers it more important that he gets done the things which he was elected to do. We saw him recently display that quality through his fracas with Netanyahu, where he committed the cardinal sin of American politics - the sin which George W. Bush thought cost his father his second term - and stand up to Israel over the subject of illegal settlements; and, importantly, we also saw Israel back down. Will he pay for that at the next election? Obama says he does not care as long as he can bring about peace in the Middle East.

And now he is staking his presidency on establishing better healthcare for millions of Americans, whether it hinders or helps his chances of re-election. He's doing it because he thinks it is right. And I rather like that.

But he's not taking it for granted that victory is assured.
"I know this will be a tough vote. I know that everybody is counting votes right now in Washington," he said. "We are going to do something historic this weekend. ... We are going to fix health care in America."
He's doing what he campaigned on. And he's willing to stand or fall doing what he promised.

If he could achieve healthcare reform and peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, even if he has to become loathed in the process of doing so, I think he would go down in history as a truly great American president.

He's rolling the dice. I genuinely wish him well.


Steel Phoenix said...

I see nothing positive of substance in any of this.

Obama talks better than anyone, but in the end, Congress defiles everything and he signs off on it.

Until he puts some consequences on Israel and removes the mandated purchase of private insurance, he is part of the problem, not the solution.

Kel said...

I think the problem is actually in the make up of the Democrats. The Blue Dogs are a huge hindrance. Obama will deliver the best healthcare that he can get those buggers to vote for. It won't be the system I would have chosen, as I would always prefer a public option, but, as I've always said, I think half a loaf is better than no loaf at all.

As for Israel, he's recently brought Netanyahu back to the table with his tail between his legs, lets wait and see how he gets on there.