Waterloo? Obama Video Address: July 18, 2009

Republican Senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint said concerning health care reform, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

And there you have it my friends. One declarative sentence that defines what is wrong with the Republican party and what is wrong with Washington right now. Whether you believe Obama or not, his answer to DeMint that health care reform is “not about me”, is exactly the right answer. It’s also not about politics. It’s about meeting a moral imperative in a way that does not ruin us economically.

Now the question remains, will health care reform bankrupt America and lead to rationing of care? The fact is that the legislation is still being crafted. The folks who say the sky is falling are premature. Concern about long term effects of legislation are not limited to Republicans. They are shared by moderate Democrats. I personally find it unlikely that for all his persuasive charm, Obama will bull-doze through a bill that hurts America, as the Obama-is-Satan contingent would have you believe.

Are there problems with Obama’s video address this week? Well there is one striking error that Obama keeps repeating. He may be doing it because he doesn’t think the average American can deal with any complexity in the argument. When Obama says you will not have to change your plan or your doctor, he is ignoring the fact that under the current system, without any reform, your employer decides your health care insurance options. No one under current policy can guarantee from one year to the next that their health care insurance or their in-plan doctors won’t change. Nothing in the legislation being debated right now changes that. The question of whether the presence of a public plan will induce most employers to drop other options remains a valid one.

Despite this, I still say to all the Chicken-Little’s in the country that the sky is not falling. We will end up with health care reform that only goes a small fraction toward the ideal. I suspect everyone will not be covered. Yet I also expect the legislation will stop insurance companies’ current immoral practices. Once again, the Republicans offer little by way of solutions and by the rhetoric of some of their more loose-lipped Senators, show their true intentions: to abandon what is best for this country simply to prove they can stop Obama.

I ask my conservative friends, is this really what you sent your representatives to Washington to do?

And now the President of the United States of America:


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