Health care reform sustained life-threatening injuries this August, no doubt about it. Relentless scare tactics and intimidation took a hefty toll and the future of reform was said to be in grave danger.
President Obama’s televised speech to a joint session of Congress in early September was hopeful, but the Baucus bill , which did not include a public option, but did include an individual mandate, succeeded not only in keeping Republican support at bay, but in angering Progressives. Things haven’t been looking good for reform… but change is in the air.
The Associated Press is reporting on a new poll indicating that opposition to health care reform is dropping among Democrats and Independents — and even among older Americans on Medicare.
Republicans remain strong in their opposition, but a few cracks in the armor are showing. A statement from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R):
“As Governor, I have made significant efforts to advance health reform in California. As the Obama Administration was launching the current debate on health care reform, I hosted a bipartisan forum in our state because I believe in the vital importance of this issue, and that it should be addressed through bipartisan cooperation.
“Our principal goals, slowing the growth in costs, enhancing the quality of care delivered, improving the lives of individuals, and helping to ensure a strong economic recovery, are the same goals that the president is trying to achieve. I appreciate his partnership with the states and encourage our colleagues on both sides of the political aisle at the national level to move forward and accomplish these vital goals for the American people.”
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R), former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson (R), former Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Mark Mclellan (R), and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) have also expressed support for reform.
Could it be that we’ve just taken a collective breath, gathered our wits about us, and decided to work on the problem that faces America? Well, maybe that’s too much to hope for, but it only takes a few brave souls to step away from the pack and put the people ahead of the politics.
We can put away the crash cart for now — the patient is stabilizing.
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