Washington, September 10 -- In a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama tried his best to give another impetus to his health care plan.
He put his eloquence to good use by referring to the relationship ties between Republican senators and their late Democratic associate Edward Kennedy.
This time Obama’s speech did not carry his previous so-called “technocratic style”. Instead he made a controlling appeal to “the American character” by explaining how his plan could benefit the insured and the uninsured, the small as well as large businesses.
He tried to fill the wide gap that has been created between the Republicans and the Democrats over the public insurance option, something that could potentially wipe his party off from the country’s political scene. Obama said, “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.”
What the health care plan will entail
The $900 billion, ten year plan, proposes a system to avert denial of coverage and eradicate limits on benefits. It also includes directives for large businesses to recommend insurance and for individuals to buy it.
Apart from this, it has an insurance exchange that will permit small businesses and uninsured individuals to shop for insurance. But all this will be done keeping in mind that “not one dime” will be added to the already increasing federal deficit.
Obama adamant yet constructive
Inviting a negative response from the Republicans, Obama said, “I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it.”
In a bid to fill the crack with Democrats on the crucial matter of providing the alternative of a government-run insurance plan, Obama said he is open to other choices too. He said he is open to “constructive ideas”.
But he did add, “I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.”
Liberals happy with the speech
Obama’s assurance that he is open to public opinion pleased Bay Area liberals such as Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee and Petaluma Rep. Lynn Woolsey, who are determined to vote against any bill that excludes a public option.
However, Obama did not forget to add that “the public option is only a means to that end” of increasing coverage for the uninsured.
Overall, the speech was aimed at finishing the ongoing battle with the Democrats and drive out public disbelief.
Federal deficit needs to be reduced
The coming weeks will tell whether Obama’s efforts to get the health care bill passed will reap any benefits or not. Obama ensured that the health reform would not add to federal deficits.
But analysts are of the opinion that just not adding to the deficit does not serve the purpose. This policy does not take into account the issue of reducing this deficit.
It is being anticipated that all the money in the insurance program Medicare will be finished in just eight years. The further escalating costs of health care services are a major contributor towards an increase in U.S. debt.
Former Comptroller General David Walker was quoted as saying, “We need to bend the cost curve down, not up. Reducing costs while expanding coverage is just not possible.”