Remember the frustrating days of the Democratic primary campaign of 2008 when we were all yelling that Obama should fight back against Hillary’s attacks? We thought that he should get as down and dirty as Hillary was. Obama did not lower his behavior to mirror that of Hillary. His campaign staff, led by David Axelrod, really had the strategy all mapped out: they did the math and had figured out exactly what states were needed in terms of primary and electoral votes. They played their game beautifully, kept their cool and won the nomination and the Presidency. I must add though that the almost total collapse of our economy coupled with McCain’s folly of selecting Bailin’ Palin as his running mate also contributed to Obama’s huge win last November.
We are now faced with a similar set of circumstances in passing President Obama’s health care reform. Our biggest problem as it stands is that there is no plan yet. This is why we are all so frustrated at the President’s lack of specific words on the plan. It was important to the President that the new plan come from Congress, not the White House. We all know that Congress proceeds very slowly in enacting new legislation (unless it has to do with war funds, natch) and creates obstacle after obstacle in legislating new programs that would actually benefit the people rather than positively affect our lawmakers’ re-elections or put money into their own pockets. President Obama has been patient, but I think that patience is wearing thin. Over 70% of Americans want health care reform. Congress must respond to that demand with action and then President Obama needs to take the cause back to his campaign days, make a beeline for the grassroots, make like he is LBJ and cajole and bargain with members of Congress to get the plan passed. Axelrod is the key; he will set the strategy. I made the case for Axelrod’s direction on health care reform in my post of August 2, 2009, titled “Health Care Reform: Build It Now”. Here is the crux of my argument:
We need more and better communication from the Obama administration to inform the public not only on the positive aspects of reform and also to offset these lies. Sure, our President is right when he expects health care legislation to come from our Congress; they are our elected officials and ideally, they represent the desires of their constituency. But it is now time for President Obama to take the bull by the horns and implement his own ideas, educate the American population and get this deal done. David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the President, dealt with candidate Obama’s waffling on issues during the campaign. Axelrod basically told Obama that yes, to ensure a large voting base, he needs to be sensitive to what the people want. However, the prospective President must always be true to himself, his ideals. That is the same predicament in which President Obama now finds himself. I hope that Axelrod sets the President straight and encourages him to go after what he believes in, to fight the fight, to inform Americans about the details and then, to present the whole package even with some of the unknowns admitted to, and to deliver this much needed reform. President Obama has a whole lot more to do to explain this package. Always remember though, that this man was elected to be our President after a vacuum of leadership invaded our country creating a lost decade. President Obama was elected based on the people’s demand for change. This is what he must deliver to us. Even within the scope of elective politics, he must bridge the dichotomy of elective process versus actual legislation and fight this battle for us.
Silly me. Axelrod is already on it. Today I received an email from him outlining a new tactic to out the truth about the lies and misconceptions of the proposed health care reform that the opposition is disseminating. Here is the email:
Anyone that’s watched the news in the past few days knows that health insurance reform is a hot topic — and that rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Given a lot of the outrageous claims floating around, it’s time to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.That’s why we’ve launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here’s a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:
- CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.
- Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.
- Matt Flavin, the White House’s Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran’s benefits.
- Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.
- Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.
There’s more information and a number of online tools you can use to spread the truth among your family, friends and other social networks. Take a look:
We knew going into this effort that accomplishing comprehensive health insurance reform wasn’t going to be easy. Achieving real change never is. The entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo always use their influence in Washington to try and keep things just as they are.
But don’t be misled. We know the status quo is unsustainable. If we do nothing, millions more Americans will be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or see their coverage suddenly dropped if they become seriously ill. Out-of-pocket expenses will continue to soar, and more and more families and businesses will be forced to deal with health insurance costs they can’t afford.
That’s the reality.
Americans deserve better. You deserve a health care system that works as well for you as it does for the status quo; one you can depend on — that won’t deny you coverage when you need it most or charge you crippling out-of-pocket co-pays. Health insurance reform means guaranteeing the health care security and stability you deserve.
President Barack Obama promised he’d bring change to Washington and fix our broken, unsustainable health insurance system. You can help deliver that change. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck, get the facts and spread the truth. The stakes are just too high to do nothing.
Senior Advisor to the President
By all means, let your fingers do the walking right now to Axelrod’s latest weapon in his arsenal to implement his President’s visions, http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/?e=10&ref=image, to learn the truth, fight back against untrue scare tactics and expose these fear mongers as the fakers they are. Those people who just want to use this issue to foster discontent with the Obama administration will not visit this site because it refutes all that they stand for. Health care reform is irrelevant to them; their main purpose is to see the Obama administration fail in any and every possible way.
Just watch: Axelrod and his Boss WILL get this job of health care reform done, just as they did the primary and general election. But guys, we need a plan first. Once a definite plan comes out of Congress and their various committees, the real haggling and compromising can begin and President Obama can voice a “Yea” or “Nay” on each and every article of that proposed legislation.
Keep the faith. Axelrod has this mapped out. The Party of No and the Blue Dogs will at best, vote for the reform for the benefit of their constituents and national economy. At worst, they will pass the proposed legislation just by virtue of being shamed into it by Axelrod and the administration, not to mention the citizens craving change.
Here’s to a bullseye in August.