According to this article, while President Obama insists that he still wants reform completed by August, he seems not to believe that his role is one of leading reform.
Despite a lack of consensus over cost, funding and whether to provide a "public" government insurance plan that would compete with private companies, Obama's Health and Human Services secretary said Sunday that the White House will not micromanage Congress. Any plan to overhaul the system "needs to be owned by the House and the Senate," Kathleen Sebelius told CNN's State of the Union.
Like the analysts mentioned in the article, I really question this kind of strategy. Though Pres. Obama states that his job is to inspire confidence in the American people regarding this reform, polls show the majority of Americans support for universal healthcare, with some polls putting that support at 72%. It seems clear that President Obama ought focus his energies on the house and senate, and even some in his own party, when embarking on a campaign to inspire confidence in healthcare reform. And if he is truly concerned about support from American citizens, he might inspire confidence in me if he started standing up for the reproductive rights of women. Cara puts it succinctly:
[I]t would be an enormous tragedy to finally have health care reform passed, only for access to vital services to be kept out of the deal — leaving some who will need to switch to a government plan for cost reasons with less coverage than they had before...And lastly, because we can’t expect elected officials to follow the poll numbers if they don’t even know about them. The pressure that they usually end up feeling comes from anti-choicers because, well, unfortunatley anti-choicers are really good at that sort of thing. This time around, they absolutely need to hear it from us, too.
I'll repeat my call to action from yesterday's post. Please, please, look up your representatives, and speak up! You can find your reps here.