Saturday, March 20, 2010

Obama At His Best: Rallying For Health Care Reform

Obama spoke at George Mason University in Virginia on March 19. As he has done for more than a week, the president made an impassioned final plea for health care reform. Watch:

The stakes are huge in terms of Obama's presidency and legacy:

Regardless of the political fallout, historians say health-care reform will take its place in the same category as the enactment of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965, and only a rung or two below passage of the major civil rights bills of the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to the bill's providing coverage for more than 32 million uninsured Americans, people would no longer be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions. The "doughnut hole" for Medicare prescriptions would eventually be eliminated, and young people could stay on their parents' insurance plan through age 26.

"I think this will be seen as a really major reform initiative," said presidential historian Robert Dallek. "How it plays out remains to be seen. But if Social Security and Medicare and civil rights are any preludes to this initiative, then I think it will become a fixed part of the national political/social/economic culture."

Now it's up to the Democrats. I hope that on Sunday we will witness a transformative, historic accomplishment.


Darren said...

Excellent tenacity in getting this vote passed. Goes from 3 year lame duck to player - now must make sure health care bill is effective and does not cost more than the benefits.

Jeff Tone said...

Exactly right, Darren. Obama's entire presidency hinged on this vote. He indicated in his speech tonight that he knows big challenges remain.