Obama’s Healthcare Speech Alters the Debate, Gains Support

We received this from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.


CNN: More than two-thirds of Americans support President Obama’s health care reform proposals – 14 percent higher than before the President’s health care address. Seven out of 10 say the President’s proposals will move the country in the right direction. [CNN, 9/10/09]

AARP: 63 percent of Independents were more supportive of the health care proposals after the President’s speech and a majority of respondents from all political affiliations agree that health care reform should be a political priority this year. [AARP, 9/10/09]

CBS NEWS: 52 percent of those surveyed approve of how the President is handling health care – a 12 percent increase from before Wednesday’s address to Congress. [CBS News Poll, 9/11/09]


NEW YORK TIMES: ‘A Clear Responsibility’

In the moving peroration of his speech to Congress Wednesday night, President Obama cast health care reform as a moral issue that reflects on the character of our country. He also made clear that there are some problems that are too big for individuals to solve on their own — and that guaranteeing that all Americans have access to health care is one of them…

Critics of health care reform have done Americans two great disservices. They have obscured and denied the very real suffering of tens of millions of uninsured Americans and the very real danger that millions more could soon join them. And they have twisted and denied the goal of health care reform when they rail against a fictitious government takeover.

As Mr. Obama said in his speech, when facts, reason and civility are thrown overboard, he said, “we don’t merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves.” [9/11/09]

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: ‘Calling on Better Angels’

… Our reaction: He’s back, at his best when uncovering the lies swirling through the debate and “calling out” those who spread them. And he was likely at his most maddening for many in that chamber when he spoke rationally about the so-called public option as just one means to an end that can be improved upon if need be, and how his plan will be deficit neutral.

Wednesday’s address brought to the debate focus, passion and an eloquence that promises a to-the-finish commitment to reform… [9/10/09]

DETROIT FREE PRESS: ‘Obama Keeps Pushing for Needed Health Care Fixes’

… Obama deserves credit standing up in the face of very vocal opposition that appears to be in part purely political. Many Republicans just want to see him fail. And they’re resorting to misinformation, fear-mongering and exaggerated claims to make their point.

The easier thing for the president to do would be nothing, to back away and focus on something else.

But Obama understands the nexus; health care is a millstone around the neck of economic recovery. Maybe he can’t overhaul the entire system, but he needs to get the nation moving in the direction of universal access — not just to care but to insurance — and reduced costs. And if the first steps have to be taken by Democrats alone instead of with bipartisan support, so be it… [9/10/09]


When the president came before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, it was with much the attitude of a commander in the field who senses disorganization and knows it is time to rally the troops…

The system is in crisis, and even those with health-care insurance, and that includes most Americans, are feeling the pinch of costs and the concern that a chronic illness might prevent them from getting insurance were they to lose their jobs. President Obama is attempting to speak to those concerns, and fortunately seems to have no intention of sounding retreat. [9/11/09]

ROANOKE (VA.) TIMES: ‘Refocusing the Debate’

President Obama tried hard in an eloquent speech to Congress Wednesday night to refocus the debate on health care reform and debunk the lies, half-truths and misconceptions that have been spread about the various congressional plans under consideration…

Obama spoke with reason, outreach and pragmatism. If he is shouted down by angry lies, health care reform will die — and with it, any illusion that the national political system remains capable of meeting the enormous challenges the United States will face in the coming years. [9/11/09]

LAS VEGAS SUN: ‘Fixing a Broken System’

… Obama made an impressive case for reform, offering a detailed and achievable plan that represents a stark contrast to the empty scare tactics and lies from Republican naysayers who have no interest in fixing what is broken…

“But know this,” Obama told Congress, “I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than to approve it. I won’t stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out … And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.”

Republicans, are you listening?

We certainly hope so. By failing to enact these reforms, Congress would be sending a terrible message to the American people. Congress, in effect, would be saying that it is OK that insurance premium costs have risen three times faster than wages and that there is nothing wrong with forcing insured individuals to pay $1,000 per year on average to defray the costs of emergency care for the uninsured.

Congress has a fiscal responsibility to rein in runaway health care costs, as well as a moral obligation to ensure that all Americans are afforded the right to receive adequate medical care so they can live longer, healthier and more productive lives. [9/11/09]