Equal Time: Barack Obama Outlines Positives in Health Care Reform Package

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obama health care.jpgPresident Obama did a very good job, in my view, outlining in this NPR interview the positives in the health care package that has not been completely ironed out in Congress, but in his terms, is 95% there.
I have problems with the fact that women’s rights, particularly in abortion policy, have been eroded — but as I have written before — I want to move beyond health care to the many issues that are getting short-changed while this legislation dominates and distracts public attention. I want the President to succeed, but this has to get done.
As my colleague Len Nichols says, we are going to be litigating for thirty years what this health care bill means. Just wrap it up, please.
Excellent job by the National Public Radio reporters.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

12 comments on “Equal Time: Barack Obama Outlines Positives in Health Care Reform Package

  1. David says:

    One has identity as a person at birth. Prior to birth, one is a ward of the womb.
    I guess the next step for the human-at-conception crowd is to assign citizenship based on where one is conceived.
    Viability outside the womb was and still is the best guide, but god forbid we should be rational and even-handed regarding a woman’s right to choose and what constitutes being no longer a fetus with potential to become a person but rather an individual as relates to society, the law, and rights of citizenship.
    There is, by the way, no such thing as God’s law outside of sectarian myth. There is Nature and Nature’s law, something our enlightenment forebears had the wisdom to acknowledge, with a nod to the God of Nature.

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  2. Mr.Murder says:

    Biblical law seems to have considered injury to pregnant women on a different level from injury of a child whose identity and awareness of the surrounding world were intact.
    Why do churches fail to recognize this fact of old and new testament law? It is another wedge issue.
    Is the ability to deny life saving research over stem cells still being debated as the heart of this wedge issue?
    Does the Health Care bill restrict the care Congress receives to the level other citizens would get? Does it insure double standards for rich and poor bankruptcy claims due to medical expense?

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  3. nadine says:

    “There was no need to have anything about abortion in health care reform legislation as Hyde Amendment would have covered it. ” (Linda)
    Ah, but the Hyde Amendment got overwritten in the rush towards a government takeover of healthcare. So now everything is out in the open to be fought over from scratch.

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  4. Jake Haunson says:

    WMR supports the call by FireDogLake.com and Grove Norquist (the Karl Rove pal who we find repulsive on a number of levels) to investigate White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. You may sign a petition to Attorney General Eric Holder by clicking here. Suffice it to say, the “usual suspects” are opposed to the petition against Emnuel and it appears that he has called out his Democratic Leadership Council, AIPAC/ADL, and other dubious allies to attack the call for an investigation.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This whole country needs a wake up call. All too many of our minds are clouded by partisan politics. If this country wants to solve the problems which it faces, partisan politics need to go. I say no more labeling of politicians as republican or democrat”
    Some people can’t grasp this concept. In fact, it puts their panties in a tangled wad.
    An example….
    http://www.taylormarsh.com/2009/12/23/stop-the-stupid/#comments
    Read the comments.

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  6. Common Sense says:

    This whole country needs a wake up call. All too many of our minds are clouded by partisan politics. If this country wants to solve the problems which it faces, partisan politics need to go. I say no more labeling of politicians as republican or democrat. Term limits for EVERY office of government. Make campaign donations from private interests ILLEGAL. What is all the fighting about? Bureaucracy. Plain and simple. Our government is controlled by bureaucrats…private interests. People with no intentions of providing laws for the common good of the people. When was the last time the people of this country rose up and literally held the government accountable for the wrongs there have been?
    This is the heart of the health care argument. Neither side is truly interested in making a proper system that does help those who need it. Government regulation of private industry is NECESSARY in order to uphold the basic CIVIL LIBERTIES of all Americans. Those who argue for the conservative side, are generally blinded, arguing for people who only wish to economically oppress them. Those who argue for the liberal side, are also blinded, arguing only because they believe their own best interests were being promoted. Both sides are absolutely wrong. What happened to humanitarian acts of the American people as a whole? This is the purpose of government: to govern the country with the best interests of the citizens in the country in mind.
    Our country has gone down a path that has led us to this point. The people of this country have caused this. They have ALLOWED this. A government which serves the rich, ignores those in poverty, and uses everyone in between to promote their own well-being, is broken. Our whole governmental system is broken. Only when more people realize this, and rise up to the challenge of entering the sphere of government with the conscious intent not to bow down to the will of lobbyists and bureaucrats will our system begin to come back to its roots. LIBERTY for all. By the way, if you believe you have liberty, you are wrong, unless of course you are very wealthy or self-employed. You don’t have liberty. You work in your cubicle, or your office, or whatever you may do for a living. How many of us in this country can say that they are living out their dream, and doing what they always dreamed of doing for a living? Not very many I would think. Doing what you love, because you love it, not because of the need for X amount of money, and leading your life as you please without concern for whether your taxes and bills will be afforded… would be a lot closer to liberty than what we have in this country now. Someday Americans will realize this… and no longer be satisfied with “learning to live with it” anymore. No longer will we be pleased to simply have it better than the rest of the countries in the world, but we will demand to live with true liberty, not just to come closer to it than anyone else.

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  7. Linda says:

    There was no need to have anything about abortion in health care reform legislation as Hyde Amendment would have covered it.
    Len Nichols is correct that lots of provisions of whatever bill passes will be litigated–some all the way to the Supreme Court. There were legal challenges to just about every New Deal program.
    The real problem is that both House and Senate bills are very complex, and it will be many weeks after whatever is passed before most people understand what it means for them.
    A few good things take effect immediately. But there isn’t significant expansion of health care coverage until 2013 in the House bill and 2014 in the Senate bill. I believe, but I could be wrong, that until then, insurers still will be able to deny coverage of adults because of pre-existing conditions. However, children with pre-existing conditions will have to be covered immediately.
    Therefore, health care reform will remain an important issue for the foreseeable future whether one likes or dislikes whatever passes.

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  8. David says:

    POA,
    First, unrestrained admiration for placing your daughter’s welfare above everything else, and without hesitation. I think you would win more easily now because she was drug-addicted. You would in Florida based on cases I’ve heard about.
    But Outraged American, I cannot share your position regarding the rights of pregnant women. The father does not carry the fetus, the father’s health is in now way at risk, the father cannot die because of the pregnancy or in childbirth. While I hope that any union involving a pregnancy is healthy enough for the two parties to be able to talk through and arrive at the best decision for all, it must in the final analysis be the woman’s decision. The biology of gestation and childbirth require it.
    I must add that in my teen years, a very dear young lady did die because she and her husband decided to have a child in spite of the doctor’s advice against it. In that case, they made the choice together, a wrong choice, but they made it. At the time, under Florida law, had she discovered she was pregnant before the advice from the doctor, she would have had to carry the fetus regardless. And I do not know what the husband’s reaction would have been had she said she wanted to have an abortion because of the risk that she would die, but I do not believe either he or the government should have had the power to deny her that choice. Hers was the only delivered life that was at risk.
    I am a Gator, and I guess Tim Tebow’s mother’s decision is pretty well known. She was told that she was at risk to die if she continued the pregnancy, but she did, and Tim Tebow was the result. I do not know how the Tebows would feel about the story of the young woman in my circle of friends from late high school days. I hope they would understand that she should have decided not to try to have a child, or if pregnant, should have chosen an abortion.
    OA, you are missing a very important basic point about who should decide. POA makes a wonderful point about what to do if you have a child and the other parent is a real threat to that child’s well being, namely be willing to sacrifice anything and everything to save that child.

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  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Again, with equal rights comes equal responsibility. If we want men to behave like fathers we have to give them a say in the fate of their children”
    I raised my daughter as a single parent from the time she was twelve months old. I cannot tell you how hard it was to wrest custody from a drug addicted mother that had moved into a shooting gallery in Portland Oregon with our child. In Idaho, where custody proceedings were held, the “tender years doctrine” held sway over common sense and my daughter’s welfare. My legal fees took everything I had to my name, including a thriving business. In the State’s esteemable opinion, a mother who was a heroin addict was a more suitable parent than a sober successful businessman. I like to think I’d have an easier time winning custody now, 23 years later, but I doubt it.

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  10. Outraged American says:

    I am a woman and I don’t want my tax $$ paying for abortions.
    A woman’s “right to choose” gives the man who impregnated her
    no rights, even if he wants the child.
    A woman can choose to kill her and the fathers’ child, or put it
    up for adoption, without the father having any input into that
    decision.
    With no rights comes no responsibility, so no wonder why so
    many men skip out.
    At this point, which was not the case when I was growing-up,
    there is an almost absolute guarantee that a woman will not
    become pregnant (outside of rape) is she doesn’t want to.
    While I don’t want the government inside my womb, I do think
    that this whole issue has to be readdressed in a completely
    different way. As it stands, we are assuming that the woman
    bears the full responsibility for the child, and thus can decide its
    fate.
    Men should bear at least as much responsibility and have an
    equal say in the child’s fate. If the man wants the woman to
    have an abortion and she chooses not to, then he should not pay
    support.
    If the man does not want the child to be put up for adoption,
    then he should have the first chance to parent that child.
    Again, with equal rights comes equal responsibility. If we want
    men to behave like fathers we have to give them a say in the fate
    of their children.

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  11. wrensis says:

    “I have problems with the fact that women’s rights, particularly in abortion policy, have been eroded” —
    As a 75 year old woman who fought long and hard for those rights I object to any man, young or old throwing us under the bus

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  12. erichwwk says:

    Steve, you say:
    “I want to move beyond health care to the many issues that are getting short-changed while this legislation dominates”
    I respond:
    Germany enabled universal health care and SS in the 1880’s.
    Here is Senator Bingaman’s view:
    “In my view, reform is needed because health care costs are spiraling out of control. Americans spend more than $2 trillion annually on health care, but nearly $700 billion of that is considered wasteful spending that does not benefit patients. At the same time, nearly 50 million Americans – nearly one-quarter of New Mexicans – lack health insurance. We cannot sustain this path.”
    http://bingaman.senate.gov/policy/20090619-01.cfm
    While the decrease in the number uninsured is no trivial thing, much of that $700 billion dollar “rent/waste” is still there (and in the military, btw- we spend over 25 times more per capita than do does China).
    The point that we pay so much more than other advanced countries, and receive worse results.
    Median wages income for FT male workers have been stagnate for three decades, the bottom 40% have lost 80% of their wealth during the same period, yet financial managers still get a lions share (their “warlord’s fee”- or “the right to skim” for any real transactions that still occur, and we want to move on????
    Bill Moyer last Sunday w/ Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner:
    “Truth is, our capitol’s being looted, republicans are acting like the town rowdies, the sheriff is firing blanks, and powerful Democrats in Congress are in cahoots with the gang that’s pulling the heist. This is not capitalism at work. It’s capital. Raw money, mounds of it, buying politicians and policy as if they were futures on the hog market.”
    ROBERT KUTTNER:
    Rahm Emanuel, the President’s Chief of Staff, was Bill Clinton’s Political Director. And Rahm Emanuel’s take away from Bill Clinton’s failure to get health insurance passed was ‘don’t get on the wrong side of the insurance companies.’ So their strategy was cut a deal with the insurance companies, the drug industry going in. And the deal was, we’re not going to attack your customer base, we’re going to subsidize a new customer base. And that script was pre-cooked so it’s not surprising that this is what comes out the other side.
    Could the reason for wanting to move on is that consumer pockets have been picked clean here, and there is a recommendation to search for new fleecing opportunities?
    Merry Christmas

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