This week, the president attempted to regain control of the health care reform debate with a speech before a special joint session of Congress. Did he succeed? In the video clip, below, Paul Jay of the Real News Network sits down with whistle blower Wendell Potter, a former health insurance industry exec who now fights for a public plan with the Campaign For America’s Future. Potter calls for progressives to put insurance companies under a microscope, to “shine the light on public scrutiny on the horrors of the private insurance system.”
Everyone is buzzing about the obscure congressman who heckled the president during the address. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), a former aide to Strom Thurmond, screamed “You lie!” when Obama truthfully pointed out that his health plan excludes illegal immigrants. More’s the pity. At Working In These Times, I argue that it would be in the best interests of the U.S. taxpayer to let any resident buy public insurance, regardless of immigration status.
Eligibility for the public plan might be a moot point. In the Nation, Eyal Press wonders if the public option will survive at all. The president dutifully mentioned the possibility of a public option but took every opportunity to stress that he won’t insist on it.
The speech signaled that Obama is finally rolling up his sleeves. He needs to pass a bill, and there’s every reason to think he will do so. The question is whether he has sacrificed too much substance for the sake of a legislative victory.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care and is free to reprint. Visit Healthcare.newsladder.net for a complete list of articles on health care affordability, health care laws, and health care controversy. For the best progressive reporting on the Economy, and Immigration, check out Economy.Newsladder.net and Immigration.Newsladder.net. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and created by NewsLadder.
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