You may have noticed that President Obama made another fine speech about healthcare reform yesterday. A lovely speech that drew much applause.
I find it hard, though, at this stage, to applaud speechifying. Make all the fine speeches you want, Mr. President, but do please remember: the only important thing is getting it done. And by “it”, I don’t mean any old bill that you can pass off as healthcare reform with a straight face, while all of us who have been hoping and praying for meaningful reform are left groaning in disbelief.
Here’s what I would dearly love to see, right off the bat, just as a sign that your fine speeches really mean anything, that you actually intend to work for meaningful change (as opposed to celebrating the pretense of change).
One, please repudiate, in ringing tones, (with whatever gobbledygook you need to add to minimize the amount of face you lose) this this kind of crap:
The goal of the Obama White House is to come up with a health-care plan that can attract bipartisan support. The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85 percent of what he wants rather than a 100 percent satisfactory bill that passes 52 to 48.
Two, please make it clear that when you say you want to see a public plan, you mean a real public plan, one with teeth, one that will serve to actually reduce costs, rather than the public-plan-in-name-only that Chuck Schumer is trying so hard to palm off on us as real reform.