It was not surprising to see the Republican side of the joint session of Congress sit in their chairs like scolded school children wearing universally constipated expressions of disdain as President Barack Obama presented a powerful and effective consensus healthcare plan to unite the Democrats.
It was also not surprising to hear a member of the Republican side scream out "lie" during a presidential address, one of the most shameful acts ever witnessed, when Obama slapped down one GOP lie after another that he correctly stated were driven by politics rather than care for the American people.
Obama's healthcare concensus plan is plain and simple. And while the Republicans will not loosen their grips on their "bogus claims," as Obama put it, Obama outlined a vision that can help put to rest the most egregious lies even if Republicans, like GOP spokesman US Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), refuse to let up on the "scary stories."
Obama spelled out in English what Republicans will certainly seek to distort in their familiar language of demagoguery. In the first part, Obama said:
- There will be NO CHANGE in job related insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or VA provided health coverage. NO CHANGE "in what you have."
- Will prevent the insurance robber barons from continuing to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, (the one proposal that drew Republican support). Obama promised that would be in the bill he signs.
- No arbitrary caps on coverage costs for patient care. (That has to hurt the insurance industry right where its cold blooded pulse beats!)
- Insurance companies will be required to provide basic coverage for routine examines like breast cancer screenings to prevent breast cancer.
In the second part, Obama said that over the next four years:
- an insurance exchange will be created where coops of insurance coverage will be made available to those who lose health insurance when they leave or lose their jobs, or change jobs or are self-insured. It's a brilliant idea as Piers Morgan of America's Got Talent might say.
- For those who can't afford even that coverage, tax credits will be made available to help them cover the costs. Government will offer low-cost coverage to the poor, an idea Obama credited to his former presidential rival Sen. John McCain.
- Everyone will be required to carry basic health insurance, just as everyone is required to carry auto insurance, a proposal that saves billions in money spent to cover those who think they won't have health problems and then do.
Obama spoke to the "demagoguery" and the "bogus claims" forcefully, adding even more to the constipated Republican expressions int he audience. Obama drove a stake into the vampire heart of the Republican narrative when he stressed:
- There will not be any "death panels" as advocated by the disgraced former candidate for vice president Sarah Palin, to kill off senior citizens. "It's a lie plain and simple!"
- The Obama healthcare plan WILL NOT cover or apply to anyone who is in this country illegally.
- No Federal dollars will fund abortion.
- There will be no government takeover of private healthcare, promising that the public will have a "choice." No one will be forced to leave their existing coverage to take the modified public option that Republicans have used as the foundation for their demagoguery against health care reform and the defense of the insurance industry lobby. He called on the stoic Republican audience to stop making their "wild claims about government takeover."
In ending his speech, the 15th Presidential address to a joint session of congresss since 1952 (according to retiring ABC Anchor Chalres Gibson), not one dollar of the "sacred trust" called Medicare will be used to fund the healthcare reforms.
"Don't pay attention to those scary stories that your medicare will be cut ... I will protect medicare."
Obama made some final points addressing the scare tactics that his plan is "socialism" or that this is a "government takeover of healthcare, after paying a powerful tribute to the late Sen Ted Kennedy, paraphrasing Kennedy's powerful repeated public tragedy that many families face: "There is something that will make you better, but I can't afford it."
The President reminded the Republicans -- and it was clear the first part of his speech outlining the consensus health care plan to unite the Democrats and the second part was to slam down the GOP demagoguery -- that Social Security was also denounced as "Socialism" when it was first proposed in the 1930s, and Medicare was also denounced as a government takeover when it was proposed in the 1960s.
The President's speech was so powerful it probably sent many of the nation's health insurance industry robber barons into economic cardiac arrest.