COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- At the University of Maryland Thursday, President Obama tried to sell the Democrats’ plans for overhauling the health care industry. The
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — At the University of Maryland Thursday, President Obama tried to sell the Democrats’ plans for overhauling the health care industry. The impetus is clear. During a long hot autumn, when Congress still held the reins of the debate, polls showed public support tanking for reform, including an erosion in approval for a government-backed plan to compete with private insurers. But last week’s speech before a rare joint session of Congress turned those numbers around.
Today, to a young and adoring crowd, Obama returned to the podium to reiterate the message he delivered to Congress — word for word in many instances. Some highlights:
Taking on the insurance industry: Citing a case of a breast cancer patient losing coverage over a preexisting condition of acne, the president attacked private insurance companies for denying claims and dropping coverage in the name of profits at the expense of patients. “Those stories are heartbreaking,” he said. “They are wrong. Nobody in America should be treated that way.”
Taking on conservative groups: Obama also took on the conservative groups stirring public sentiment against health reform this year, imploring the audience to ignore those intent on killing the idea rather than improving it. “Pay attention to the health care experts — the doctors and nurses who knows the system best,” he asked.
Taking on Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.): Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee chairman introduced a long-awaited proposal to overhaul the nation’s fractured health care system. Liberals, however, are blasting the plan for excluding the public option in favor of health cooperatives. Obama, a long-time supporter of the public option, didn’t back down from that stand Wednesday, endorsing the concept once more with that argument that it would “provide more choice and competition and put more pressure on private insurers to make their policies more affordable.”
Private colleges haven’t put public schools out of business, he said. “You should have a choice the same way in your health care.”
Taking on the affordability question: Reiterating earlier vows, Obama said he won’t sign a bill that adds “one more dime” to the deficit.
Knowing his audience: The president endorsed the idea of allowing kids to continue being eligible under their parents’ plans until the age of 26. (He’s at UMD, remember.)
Finally, returning to the theme of hope that ignited such enthusiasm during his campaign, Obama encouraged students to be energized, not disheartened, by the hurdles facing the Democrats’ plans for health care reform. “Change has always been hard,” he said. “[But] you will change the world with your voice … I need your voice.
“Let’s go change the world.”
MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals
BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks
MA-Sen: 66 to 19
BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary
MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown
BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to
MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley
BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s
MA-Sen: Brown Wins
BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie
MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’
Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of
MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown
BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,
Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation
Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of
Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket
Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.
No Experience Necessary
Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?