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Web Letter

What has surprised me most about the president is that he was so good on the campaign trail where he could speak in generalities, but is doing so poorly on the stump as president trying to explain to the American people his drive to push healthcare reform. When you cannot speak in specifics and continue to speak in bland generalities you allow the demagogues like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Coulter to fill in the airwaves with false information that is scaring the hell out of a lot of people.

In a country with a population of 300 million people, most of whom already have medical insurance, continuing to emphasize the need for a complete overhaul of the healthcare system to benefit the uninsured made a lot of insured people feel they weren't getting anything from the president's plan except new taxes or rationed benefits. The president should have made his entire thrust about what his plan would do for those who already have insurance.

Also, when I say "the president's plan," this was another mistake he made. If it is supposed to be his most important goal, then why did he allow numerous Congressmembers to draft their own plans without any guidance or leadership from the White House? This further allowed the right wing to point to far-left versions of a healthcare plan that would ration care and raise taxes and were not likely to be passed. Either the White House controls the direction of healthcare, or Nancy Pelosi does--and the people of this country don't want that to happen.

This great orator cannot concede the debate to the right-wing extremists because that will cause substantial harm to the overwhelming majority of Americans. As a Democrat and supporter of Obama, I would like to hear how his plan will address my concerns, which I feel a lot of other people share as well, and those are what will it cost me, and what benefits do I gain or lose from the bill he will sign? As cold as it sounds, the average person wants to know the answer to one question: "What's in it for me?"--and by constantly talking about the uninsured, he has allowed the right wing to take over the debate and make the average person feel they will lose and not gain by healthcare reform. This would not have happened if the president spoke more to the concerns of those who already have insurance and was much more specific in his oratory. People like me, frankly, are more concerned about their ability to continue to afford paying so much for medical insurance rather than the non-stop oratory about those that do not have it, and its time the president addressed those vast numbers of Americans who are worried about either losing what they have or not being able to afford decent coverage for what they need.

Mark Jeffery Koch

Cherry Hill, NJ

Aug 12 2009 - 10:42am

Web Letter

Funny, Americans were very passionate about egging on a revolution in Iran during the recent elections, when Iranians took to the streets. Rachel Maddow was almost besides herself with the idea of a violent uprising--"all for the sake of democracy," of course.

I thought we were supposed to mind our own business, but the apathy and indifference here at home is in stark contrast to our meddling in other countries' political affairs. Oh, we even support the coup in Honduras, if you please!

We should be in our zillions marching in the streets in every state, demanding a single-payer system; instead we cluck our tongues and continue eating French fries. We should demand to stop the war madness and the billions we pay Israel, while we have to take cuts in Medicare.

Where's Maddow's call for protest now?

Americans are correctly seen all over the world as being very stupid people, because we re-elected Bush in order to have a beer with him, but you bet we'll be very quick to place the blame on Obama when we land up with something worse than what we have right now, when we really should blame ourselves.

stanley hersh

New York, NY

Aug 10 2009 - 10:15pm

Web Letter

The reason more progessives don't protest is because the moral impetus behind this so-called reform is deeply flawed. If there is such as thing as giving poison to a sick patient, this reform is it. The attacks on people of good will who can't see how it adds up to better aggregate care, or who cannot see an inept and corrupt government able to manage its role in what amounts to a hostile takeover of 10 percent of the economy is utterly Nixonian. BTW, please send my e-mail to the White House--I know they are looking for those of us who don't agree with this plan and who are being logical rather than ideological about it. Send it to that cocky weasel Rahm Emanuel. I am sure he will want to give me the finger and then intimidate those of us who see this legislation as a national disaster.

In the meantime, I wait to see a bill that is systemic and fair, that reforms the legal side that gave rise to the John Edwardses of the world and pushed defensive medicine over the top, and to see a bill that spurs rather than suppresses innovation, and one that does not cook the numbers. The uninsured deserve better than they are getting from the sanctimonious president and the slanderers in Congress. Think hard about how willing you are to defend and protest on behalf of this utter disaster of legislation.

Luke Liberty

Los Angeles, CA

Aug 9 2009 - 7:09pm

Web Letter

The progressives, up until now, have been silent on not only the issue of healthcare but all the other issues that are on Obama's plate as well. We are the new "silent majority," those of us who desperately want our government back on our side, not on the side of the corporatists and the big guys, including the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. As Jeff Cohen so eloquently pointed out about a week ago, the netroots, up until now, has been meekly following Obama's lead on healthcare. #$% Obama! We need Medicare for All, now! That should be our rallying cry, and we need to get active, in the streets, now!

John Farbstein

Belmont, CA

Aug 6 2009 - 5:21pm