Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saving health care reformBob Reich has been following the health care reform debate closely. In Memo to the President: What You Must Do To Save Universal Health Care TPM Cafe 06/19/09, he was several pieces of good advice for Obama on getting it done, all based on the idea, "You have to win this."
1. Go to the nation. You must build public support by forcefully making the case for universal health care everywhere around the country. ... And don't be reluctant to take on those vested interests directly. Name names. They've decided to fight you. You must fight them.
I'd have to qualify his sixth and final piece of advice:
6. Put everything else on hold. As important as they are, your other agenda items -- financial reform, home mortgage mitigation, cap-and-trade legislation -- pale in significance relative to universal health care. By pushing everything at once, you take the public's mind off the biggest goal, diffuse your energies, blur your public message, and fuel the demagogues who say you're trying to take over the private sector.It seems to me that Obama has been successfully fighting on several fronts. And, in any case, I'm not sure what putting "everything else on hold" could mean in practice. Obama can't afford to just neglect everything else to concentrate on health. But Reich is correct that it's critical for Obama to win meaningful health insurance reform with a substantial public option.
In the larger picture, even health care reform is less critical to the future of democracy and the rule of law than fully exposing the torture program and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Tags: accountability for torture, health care reform, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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