Obama Makes Hard Sell for Healthcare Reform

In about a 45-50 minute speech before a joint session of Congress he made a very forceful plea for healthcare reform. I thought he struck a perfect balance between conciliation and yet laying down groundrules that must be accomplished. He told Republicans that he was willing to work with them if they were willing to work with him . . . a big if. Its always risky to state publicly the opposition, put those words in his mouth, but some of the outrageous disinformation that is out there simply has to be beat back to hope to have the support of the American public. He reiterated strongly that those happy with their healthcare can keep it. He addressed progressives when he defended the “public option”. He addressed conservatives when he discussed being deficit neutral and malpractice reform. And yes, he invoked the memory of Ted Kennedy in a forceful coda to his speech.

Time will tell if this tips the scales in favor of getting comprehensive reform passed. But it was a very good attempt.

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