President Obama looked exhausted at last night’s news conference. It is understandable. The rush to push through health care reform must be extremely demanding. This is a critical issue for the President. It was a hallmark of his campaign and is essential to his domestic agenda. Losing the health care debate could have lasting effects on not only the rest of his agenda, but the remainder of his Presidency. As his honeymoon comes to an end, poll numbers re-enter the atmosphere, and dissent on Capital Hill rises, the President must feel enormous pressure to push reform now. The problem is the American people have seen this type of rush to judgment before- it was called the stimulus bill.
If the rush for health care reform is not politically motivated, why was the President trying to pass reform before Congress leaves in August? If the urgency truly arises from letters sent to the President by those who desperately need health care, why didn’t he push for health care reform the day he took office? Instead, we rushed our way into a massive bailout plan. The truth is simple. Time is the President’s enemy. The more time Americans have to learn about the proposed legislation, the more questions they will ask. As more time passes, citizens voice concerns to their elected officials. The cat is out of the bag. Americans now understand that lack of time and lack of knowledge passed the stimulus bill.
Politicians have been talking about comprehensive healthcare for decades. Are we now to believe major and unprecedented reform should take place in a matter of weeks? Everyone, to some degree, believes we should make changes to our current health care system. The extent of those changes are up for debate. Some say we have to stop talking and do something immediately. I say we haven’t talked enough about specifics. The discussion is always about social justice and vague political philosophy. No republican or democrat wants a child to die of a preventable or treatable condition because of lack of medical insurance. We all want the same ending, but how we get there is critical. Americans deserve time to understand what is being proposed and how it will impact our lives. This is not only about trillions of dollars. It is about life and the quality of our lives. Nothing deserves more of your time Mr. President.