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