Posted by: samhenry | September 3, 2009

President’s More Active Role in Health Care Debate – Mixed Reviews


By SamHenry

Late Thursday evening, September 3, CNN quoted the always open staff of  “official Sources” that the Prez and members of his staff were working on a compromise over a restructured health care bill with Senator Olympia Snowe of Vermont.  One of the so-called “Gang of Six” Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee (three Democrats and three Republicans), Senator Olympia Snowe, R-Vermont has emerged as a key figure in saving President Obama’s quest for a bipartisan Health Care bill.  To whit, the Prez and the Senator are currently negotiating a  bill smaller in scope with the public component removed (it can be added later). So called “cost saving” sections will remain:

The modified proposal would include insurance reforms, such as preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, according to the source. The potential deal would give insurance companies a defined period to make such changes in order to help cover more people and drive down long-term costs. But if those changes failed to occur within the defined period, a so-called “trigger” would provide for creating a public option to force change on the insurance companies, the source said.

A viable health care compromise may have prompted the President to schedule an address to  a joint session of Congress September 9th. On September 8th, the President will give a controversial speech to returning school students.

A suggested lesson plan calls on school kids to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help President Obama is troubling some education experts, who say it establishes the president as a “superintendent in chief” and may indoctrinate children to support him politically.

But the White House says the speech is merely “designed to encourage kids to stay in school.”

When it was first announced a couple of days ago that the President would become more active in the push for health care reform, no one could have predicted what that entailed.  It is a heady mix of speeches and private meetings with legislators.  It could have been the President’s close identification with health care reform that pitted him up against votor rage since spring.


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