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Obama’s Address to Congress

Editor’s note: This post from Greg Scandlen:

Obama’s Speech to Congress
Meanwhile, the President is going to give yet another prime-time speech on health care, this one an address to a joint session of Congress. I guess he has worn out this supply of prime-time speeches to the nation, press conferences, and town hall meetings at the White House. This may be the only arrow left in his quiver, but it is remarkable that he would resort to it at this point in his presidency. Byron York points out that the last three presidents, each used this occasion just once. The two Bush’s used it for true national emergencies, the Gulf War and 9/11. Clinton used it to push his health reforms, and that didn’t work out so well.
It had better be a knock out. As we reported last week, even Drew Altman, the president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, is struck that eight months into this process we still don’t have answers to basic questions, such as:

  1. How high up the income scale will subsidies go?
  2. Is there an individual requirement to obtain coverage and how severe are the penalties for not complying?
  3. What coverage will people get?
  4. How much will insurers be allowed to vary premiums by age?
  5. What will be available for the lowest income Americans?

But the odds of getting specifics are not high, according to the New York Times. It reports that, “officials said Mr. Obama was unlikely to unveil a detailed legislative plan of his own.” It adds, “Democratic leaders in Congress – many of whom had said earlier in the summer that they saw no need to scale back their ambitions – made clear that their political calculations had changed.”
The article goes on to quote one White House officials as saying, “It’s so important to get a deal, he will do almost anything it takes to get one.” Well, that should make for an inspiring speech.
The article adds, “If Mr. Obama does not gain traction by making these concessions, his allies on Capitol Hill said, they may have to consider bigger changes. For example, they said, rather than requiring all Americans to carry health insurance, Congress might start by requiring coverage of children, or families with children.” So, what exactly is he going to talk about?
New York Times
Byron York


September 4, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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