Daily Pulse: Obama to Outline Vision for Health Care Reform

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium Blogger

Today, President Obama will spell out his vision for health care reform before a special joint session of Congress. The president's speech marks the final phase of health care reform. This is Obama's last chance to recapture the momentum that Democrats lost to corporate-backed town hall hooligans and misinformation during the August recess.

The Uptake asks movers and shakers in Minnesota what they want to see from the president today (video above). Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn) says he wants to see the president explain why the public option is necessary to hold down costs, and reassure them that the public option will not threaten private insurance or lead to cuts in Medicare. "It's going to be the biggest moment of his presidency," Ellison tells the Uptake, "I hope he makes it a Roosevelt moment, a Kennedy moment, a Lincoln moment, because I think he has the ability to do that."

Devona Walker of New America Media on what Obama needs to do today: Explain the plan clearly, enforce party discipline, and convince the public that reforming health care is the only way to reduce deficits in the long run.

Brooke Jarvis of Yes! Magazine offers a history lesson on why so many presidents have tried and failed to achieve universal health care:

In each case, says historian Beatrix Hoffman, "the relentless opposition of medical, business, and insurance interests pushed reformers to design health care proposals around placating their opponents more than winning popular support. In turn, ordinary people had trouble rallying around complex proposals [that didn't recognize] a universal right to health care."

The root of the problem, Hoffman says, was that the proposals came from elites who sought to compromise with interest groups, where they believed real power lay, rather than to ally with grassroots movements.

In the Progressive, Cristina Lopez argues that, while everyone needs affordable high quality health insurance, Latinos and women are most in need of a public option because they are at greater risk of being uninsured and unable to afford private insurance.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo wonders if the Democrats are courting disaster by forcing people to buy heavily subsidized private insurance with no public option to reign in costs:

Am I the only one who thinks that if the Dems pass a bill with mandates and subsidies for poor and moderate income people to purchase it but no public option or competition with the insurers, that it will be pretty much a catastrophe for the Democrats in political terms?

You 'solve' the problem of the uninsured by passing a law forcing them to buy health insurance which, by definition, most a) cannot afford or b) are gambling they won't need because they're young and healthy. Either you end up with low subsidies which still leave it onerous to buy, thus creating a lot of disgruntled people, or you get generous subsidies, which cost a lot of money.

The health care reform battled has created deep divisions within the Democratic Party. Tonight, the president will pick his side. Will he stand with the progressives for a public option, or will he back the Blue Dogs and their watered-down, politically risky compromise proposal? Keep your eyes on tomorrow's Pulse for the post-game breakdown.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care and is free to reprint. Visit  Healthcare.newsladder.net for a complete list of articles on health care affordability, health care laws, and health care controversy. For the best progressive reporting on the Economy, and Immigration, check out Economy.Newsladder.net and Immigration.Newsladder.net. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and created by NewsLadder.

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Some of the News
That may be True


It was formally announced tody that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would address the United Nations when it resumes meeting in September. This is seen as part of her global outreach as she expands the foreign policy iniatives she started after leaving office.

The arrangements for the speech were made by former Ambassador John Bolton in a show of U.S. support of the UN and its mission. Governor Palin has agreed to waive her usual six figure
speaker fee.

homer   www.altara.blogspot.com

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A Tale of Two Speeches

Crossposted from The Motley Moose

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.

Other than that, President Obama and Dick Cheney were in complete agreement in their speeches yesterday on torture and Guantanamo Bay.

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Loose Cannon McCain

I submit exhibit "A":

"I have been tested,'' McCain said, with a certain gritted-teeth look at the state fairgrounds in New Mexico. "I'm gonna test them. They're not gonna test me.''

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Obama Make THE Speech to Hillary Supporters


I've debated whether we need to wait a few more days before writing this but as more state and national polls come out, it's clear to me with each passing day that this bounce is probably not a bounce but an actual game-shifting surge.  Your surrogates try to point to this or that in these polls to rationalize that it's solely due to independents or just renewed enthusiasm from the Republican base.  Blindly believing that some of Hillary's supporters aren't still hurt and seeking closure for those feelings, at this point, leads us closer and closer to defeat.

Hillary made her speech to her supporters, Bill made his speech to Hillary's supporters - they were fine speeches but those speeches were not enough for many.  


And you need to do it NOW.  But you say, "I always ask them for their vote at every stump I give".  No, not in a stump speech.  In a focussed speech targeted at HILLARY's supporters with Hillary by your SIDE.

Don't worry that detractors might say "insincerity, it's self-serving because he's losing and needs them now" or that no way is it going to work, don't even bother -  The ELECTION is at stake.  Nobody needs to rehash what happened in the Primaries and the VP selection, but try to think how your supporters would have felt if you were in Hillary's shoes after a hard fought primary and being skipped over for VP - and you'll know in your heart how they feel.

You've taken it this far to not go take the last measure needed to get the train back on its tracks - a little empathy, humility, sincerity will work. Explain in your own words how you viewed what transpired and REALLY ask them for THEIR VOTE.  

Look up the word 'ELOQUENCE' in the dictionary and your picture is there - we know you can weave the words.  You won't convince all of them but I believe those that have gravitated to McCain/Palin will at least hear you out and you'll get to many of them.  At the very least if they still can't support you - they might not vote at all rather than pulling the lever for McCain, this may be just as important in a close election.

I know you'll do the right thing.

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