Friday, September 11, 2009

Three little words about health care reform

President Obama had me at “health care reform.”

To my head and heart, his speech to Congress was pitch perfect. Historic. Good policy, good politics.

Of course, I’m easy. But I can explain in three little words:

Word #1. Pre-existing condition. Under his program, it would be illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition. How could anyone oppose that?

Word #2. Crossing state lines. It makes no sense, for example, for Texas insurance policies to suddenly lapse when you cross the Red River if Oklahoma and Arkansas don't happen to license your carrier. I want to be able to run hard/play hard in Mena, Broken Bow and Tishamingo.

Word #3. Forty-six million uninsured American men, women and children would now be covered. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured citizens in the U.S. with 24.9% running scared and bare.

Of course, there are many other reasons why we should support our president in this quest (obscene profits at insurance companies, obscene bonus payments to insurance moguls, obscene insurance industry lobby money spent in D.C.).

The president got an unexpected “gift” from the knuckle-dragging congressman from South Carolina who gave Obama a shout-out during the speech. I appreciate the way Obama is taking the high road regarding this insult but we all were shocked at the lack of respect. The incident underscores my earlier advice: forget the Republicans. They aren’t going to vote for health care reform. Any hint of GOP support is a feint to buy time.

Make no mistake, Mr. President, the majority of white Southerners will always hate your guts as long as you remain half black. That’s the sad truth. And it explains a lot of the rancor: the birthers, tea parties, gun and rifles at political meetings, the manufactured furor over your speech to students and the flood of lies about the health bill like death panels and immigrants. By now, you must know they are going to attack any and everything you do or say.

Your health care address to Congress had steel in it. Thank you. I hope your speech put some backbone in the Democratic majority.

I think it will.

1 comment:

Ken said...

I missed the speech but agree totally with your post, George. Don't miss Statesman columnist John Kelso's post today on the president's heckler. it's terrific! See it at

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