July 30, 2009

I got Obama’s back on Healthcare. Do you? If so, forward this to your friends.

United We Stand.

Here’s the GOP ad against Universal Healthcare coverage:

A new poll on the NY Times show that the Republicans, and some Democrats, have succeeded in not only pushing back the vote on Universal Health Care coverage, but on seeding fear and doubt in our public’s minds. That’s fine. It’s good to have questions.

Here’s my post on the long, decades-long history of failed healthcare plans for all Americans, which began more than a century ago, and then really re-began with Truman. While LBJ and Clinton both advanced the ball down the field (with Medicare/Medicaid and then with coverage for children), we’re still the only wealthy democracy in the world not to offer healthcare to all our citizens. And remember, for those in doubt that We the People can run an efficient, top-notch system—we’re already doing it, for our military. And remember this: the system we have now is far more expensive that what they have in other countries, and covers far fewer. We’re a strong country—and strength is best expressed through compassion, not fear.

Do you have Obama’s back on finally getting Universal Health Care in the end zone? I do. If you do, tweet or FB this, and ask your friends to spread the word.

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I Got Obama’s Back on Health Care for all Americans.

Change: we asked for it. Do we still want it? We may not have another chance in this lifetime to get this done. NYTimes:

President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover that could limit Americans’ ability to choose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found. The percentage who describe health care costs as a serious threat to the American economy — a central argument made by Mr. Obama — has dropped over the past month.

Mr. Obama continues to benefit from strong support for the basic goal of revamping the health care system, and he is seen as far more likely than Congressional Republicans to have the best ideas to accomplish that. But reflecting a problem that has hindered efforts to bring major changes to health care for decades, Americans expressed considerable unease about what the end result would mean for them individually.

“We need to fix health care,” Mary Bevering, a Democrat from Fort Madison, Iowa, said in a follow-up interview, “but if the government creates the system, I’m afraid the quality of care will go down and costs will go up: We will pay more taxes.”

“It’s going to come down to regulation,” Ms. Bevering said. “What also worries me is whether we will be told what physician we can have.”

The poll was taken at a moment of extreme fluidity, both in terms of the complicated negotiations in the House and the Senate as lawmakers and the administration sort out the substance and politics of competing proposals, and in the efforts by both sides to define the stakes of the health care debate for the public.

With Congress now almost certain to recess until after Labor Day without floor votes on any specific plan, a vigorous advertising and grass-roots effort to shift public opinion is likely in the next month or two. The poll offers hope to both sides.

The changes in the public’s attitude over the past month, even if not huge, suggest one reason Mr. Obama sought so hard to get Congress to vote on some version of an overhaul before heading home.

Opponents of the proposed health care overhaul have already spent $9 million on television advertisements raising concerns about it, said Evan Tracey, the chief operating officer of Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. The advertisements are financed by the Republican National Committee and aimed at constituents of wavering lawmakers. The committee is also running radio spots.

Officials said the advertising would accelerate as the legislators returned home for the summer. The advertisements present the overhaul as a risky experiment, or a government takeover of health care that would prevent people from choosing their own doctors.

Mr. Obama is making an intense effort to rebut those claims. On Wednesday, he flew to Raleigh, N.C., for a town-hall-style meeting to address the kinds of public concerns reflected in the poll results.

“First of all,” Mr. Obama said, “nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. I’m tired of hearing that. I have been as clear as I can be. Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. These folks need to stop scaring everybody, you know?”

Mr. Obama sought in particular to reassure people who already have health insurance and whom the overhaul plans under consideration in Congress would benefit by preventing insurers from dropping them or diluting their coverage if they become ill, while also bringing rapidly rising costs under control. And he sought to stoke a sense of urgency for getting a bill signed this year.

“If we do nothing, I can almost guarantee you your premiums will double over the next 10 years, because that’s what they did over the last 10 years,” Mr. Obama said. “It will eat into the possibility of you getting a raise on your job because your employer is going to be looking and saying, ‘I can’t afford to give you a raise because my health care costs just went up 10, 20, 30 percent.’ ”…for the rest, click here.

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