One of the highlights, or lowlights depending on your perspective, of last year’s presidential campaign was John McCain’s announcement that he was “suspending” his campaign to rush to Washington and save our failing financial system. He said this effort might preclude having the first televised debate with then-candidate Barack Obama. Obama’s classic response was that a president ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Today’s video exemplifies his putting his money where his mouth is. One would expect that this week’s video address would be about Obama’s travels throughout Europe and the Middle East, but instead he chose to discuss health care reform. Whether you like this president or not, you must concede that he has a lot on his plate and he isn’t shying away from any of it.
While I wouldn’t want to base a health care dissertation on the anecdotal evidence I gleaned from a conversation with a Canadian friend of mine, I did learn a bit that gave me cause for alarm. Whatever Obama does by way of health care reform, he must avoid the temptation to totally socialize medical care in this country. My Canadian friend told me that government provided health care carries a huge tax burden. Emergency care is readily available and of good quality. Non-emergency care however can take as long as six to eight months to schedule.
Obama’s challenge is to improve the state of health care in this country without introducing a bureaucratic nightmare that will result in delayed care to many and an overly burdensome tax bill to all. I see nothing yet in Obama’s plans that say we are headed for socialized medicine and I do hope it remains that way.
And now the President of the United States of America: