Friday, September 11, 2009

The Health Care Speech, with added Comments

I haven't written about President Obama's health care speech, nor the shockingly rude behavior of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), because I've frankly been trying to calm down. After Wilson's outrageous, disrespectful, and patently false lie against the President, what I wanted to do was to visit harsh punishments with fire, knife, and tongs upon Wilson and his various body parts, while recording it for YouTube. Ever since Wilson had the goddamned nerve to publicly insult my president--and the honor of the House of Representatives and the entire U.S. Congress, for that matter!--during an address to a joint session of Congress, I've been asking myself, "who the hell does he think he is?!"

Well, I already knew the answer to that question. And luckily for Joe Wilson, I had other things keeping me busy this week. But I might be free after next Tuesday....

Wilson's descent into bleacher-bum behavior was, in truth, a minor scar upon an-otherwise masterful address by Pres. Obama. Thank all gods and spirits that the real grownups are back in charge! While House and Senate Republicans acted like stupid frat boys waving blank pieces of paper (the Republican health care "plan"), while hypocrites like Eric Cantor texted away on his Blackberry during the President's speech, while we got an idea of what John Boehner's "I have to eat this shit and smile?" face looks like, and while ignorant tools like Wilson mistakenly thought that they were at Wrigley Field instead of the Capitol Dome and heckled the President--President Obama gave one of the most masterful, dramatic, and inspirational speeches of his career.

The key phrase for me was "no more pre-existing conditions." That's the takeaway for me, and, I suspect, many, many others. Along with the President's proposals forbidding insurance companies from dropping your coverage when you're sick, getting rid of caps on lifetime health care expenses, and placing a limit on out-of-pocket expenses, I think that a plan that was admittedly murky last month, came into sharp focus for many, many Americans Wednesday night. I know that for myself and many close to me, these changes alone could literally make the difference between life and death, as well as the difference between solvency and bankruptcy.

We're in for a helluva fight over this health care bill. I'm thankful that my congressman, Keith Ellison, is one of the House progressives who stand foursquare for a public option; I'm thankful that my new senator, Al Franken, is a total policy wonk with extensive knowledge and deep support for the public option. (Note to Sen. Amy Klobuchar: get with it, willya?!) I intend to be outspoken, intelligent, bold, and unrelenting in this fight. This is the fight of our lifetime, people. This is the big one. We all need to do whatever we can to make this reform a reality.

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