Question of the Day: Pres. Obama To Get Frank On Health Care, But Will People Listen?

Politico is reporting that President Barack Obama will soon give another speech on healthcare, giving specifics and hoping to set the record straight after an August filled with threats of government-sponsored, Grandma-killing and people bringing semi-automatic weapons to political townhall meetings.

More after the jump.

Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said.

“We’re entering a new season,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in a telephone interview. “It’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active.”

Top officials privately concede the past six weeks have taken their toll on Obama’s popularity. But the officials also see the new diminished expectations as an opportunity to prove their critics wrong by signing a health care law, showing progress in Afghanistan, and using this month’s anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers to push for a crackdown on Wall Street.

Needless to say, the president and his plan have taken a thumpin’ to the head from the opposition that they weren’t prepared for. The result has been a lot of misinformation, insanity and confusion over the healthcare plan which is still largely unfinished as legislators are still debating what will go in the healthcare reform bill.

But will another speech from the president stem the tide of healthcare panic? The great freak out on healthcare reform has been allowed to build and grow pretty much unabated as Democrats were slow-footed and slow-witted in their lengthy, confusing responses to the general whackdooey-ness of particular members of the panicked populace. A speech could help, but it would have to be some amazing speech, because, right now, there’s a lot of screaming, but very little actual listening going on in this debate. But what do you think? Will a more specific, frank speech help the president’s cause?

7 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Pres. Obama To Get Frank On Health Care, But Will People Listen?

  1. This is crunch time.Remember 1994? You are going to see a replay in 2010 if something good doesn’t happen soon with health care. I am not holding my breath.Obama’s willingness to move away from the public option shows that he already concedes that he cannot pass the reform that he wants – and must now settle for incremental change. Perhaps incremental change is the only way to get reform?Too many minds have already been made up and I don’t see how a speech will sway public positions greatly. The Congressmen have heard much opposition to reform from their constituents. Obama would have to sway opinions severely to cause enough of a stir that people would then yell passionately to their Congressmen for health care reform. It simply is not going to happen. Obama came in to office armed with a mandate for change – Americans are still empowering the President to instigate change – but they used their line-item veto to knock health care off the list.So Obama will get something punched through, but it will be a weak, symbolic victory. Obama did want to do more, but it is not happening this year.

  2. Probably not. If you believe as I do that it is not the gov’t’s job to be involved in health care then what could he say? Besides, what exactly is Obama going to defend or sell, as there is no final bill before the congress? He will probably make promises and then bait and switch at the end with a totality different product. Not to mention, I’m sure his selling point will be do it for Teddy, as if Teddy’s finally passing is a good reason why anyone should abandon reason and vote for the bill. Maybe Obama will join Harry Reid, who apparently thinks that Teddy’s death will help the Dems pass heath care reform and wants to use it. It will be like a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s.

  3. If anybody can make an amazing speech, it’s our President. I hope to God he does change some minds. Reform is needed URGENTLY. Hell, the public option is already incremental change, compared to what actually works elsewhere — a single-payer plan.

  4. While I don’t want this bill to pass, it’s not because I’m a "Don’t-give-a-damn-about-others" kind of guy. We can’t afford universal heathcare, plain and simple, and Congress refuses to tax people appropriately to fund this program.

  5. ^^^^^ precisely. people seem to think that the government has a bunch of money. with us being in a recession and all. i’m not impressed and moved with nice sounding and emotional speeches. most of his touch on the tip of the matter and not the meat and potatos of it.

  6. About 346 people die every week from lack of health care (health insurance). Thousands of people are losing their health insurance every day because they lost their job, couldn’t (or can’t afford to) pay their premiums, or were kicked out by their health insurance company. These events/occurrences are happening every day while our federal workers and Senators and members of Congress enjoy excellent health care benefits and other benefits at tax payer expense. We’re entering flu season, and how many more uninsured people will die from the H1N1 virus and other viruses.It is shameful, morally reprehensible, and outrageous; but the tax payer (especially ignorant town hall protesters) seems not to care. They rail at government, but have not the guts to stand up and ask for equal treatment.Members of Congress and the Senate play down this offense by stating they have employer sponsored health insurance. They seem oblivious to the fact or just don’t care that their employer is the tax-payer (Americans).We pay about 72% of federal employees (and that includes members of Congress and the Senate) health insurance premium. Yep, that’s right, the tax payer pays about 72% or slightly less of federal employees health insurance premium; and if you think about it, we really pay the entire premium because we pay federal employee’s wages and salary (which from that, they pay their share of the balance of that premium).Why don’t you visit the Federal Employees Health and Benefit website and pay attention to what the entire premium is, and what portion we (tax payer) pay and what portion the federal employee pays.Are you looking? My, what a large number of (tax payer subsidized) insurance companies and plans these federal employees have to choose from. Sort of like a health insurance exchange … don’t you think?What really irks me and is the most reprehensible, is that we (the tax payer) is making the corrupt health insurance companies richer and richer while they turn around and deny you and me (the tax payer) coverage/insurance or they won’t pay for certain treatments/tests or they kick us out after they’ve paid an expensive claim or series of claims (which by the way, they’ve reported to the medical information bureau [MIB] for other health insurance and life insurance company members to see … so those other companies can deny you coverage if they so choose). So again, hundreds of people are dying every day and others losing their health insurance (health care) while the corrupt health insurance companies (that Wendell Potter talks about) get richer and richer; all the while the tax payer pays Congress and Senate member’s health insurance premiums, wages, salary and other benefits. Do you want this to continue? … Or are you going to tell your Congressman/woman or Senator that you want equal treatment (quality, affordable, comprehensive single payer or public option universal health care), or you’ll simply not support or vote for them ever again? It’s up to you. Make your choice.

  7. Ms. Stone I have the government insurance that you speak of, it’s great. I feel no guilt over having it. My wife and I worked hard, went in to serious debt for both of us to go to law school and our great insurance is one of the rewards. That is how a capitalist society operates. Remember, capitalism – work harder and better and get more rewards. My wife drives a tight little Audi – is every American entitled to have what she worked for? Do I have to give away a house too?Health care is not a right like voting. I do think it is a necessity, so work hard and get a good job that includes good health benefits. I believe in health care reform, because we need to control the costs. But taking aim at government employees is not going to help anything. Also remember, many qualified people turn down higher paying private sector jobs to take government employment with all of its benefits. If we are turning our backs on more lucrative private jobs and helping your federal government – you may want to appreciate us rather than hatin’ on us for having good insurance.

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