Gathering at the White House Rose Garden today, 150 white-coated doctors smiled as President Obama applied tepid CPR to his health care plan.
“We have listened to every charge and every counter-charge — from the crazy claims about death panels to misleading warnings about a government takeover of our health care system,” he said.
The Senate Finance Committee wrapped up debate on the overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system on Friday and could vote on its plan as soon as Tuesday.
The plan, first put forward by committee chairman Max Baucus, had a price tag of $900 billion.
Passage by the committee will be a major victory, but the overhaul still has a long road ahead. The finance committee’s bill must be merged with another committee’s even before going to the full Senate in mid-October.
Obama’s Democrats are divided on major issues, especially whether to include a government-run insurance plan, the so-called “public option,” strongly supported by liberals but opposed by conservatives and heatedly opposed by the insurance industry.
The finance committee plan does not include a public option, and Obama did not mention one at Monday’s event.
The reform plans have yet to win support from any Republicans as they make their way through Congress.
House Minority Leader Representative John Boehner said the overhaul schemes are too expensive and that “thousands of doctors” have objected to it because it would cripple their ability to care for patients.
“Members of the medical community — who deal with red tape day in and day out — rightly recognize that the Democrats’ government takeover would weaken the doctor-patient relationship that is so critical to making the right health care decisions,” he said.
Read more here.
Behind the scenes, Obama is taking public option temperatures and hoping to revive fever-pitch support . He concluded his speech today by praising the doctors in his audience: “I want to thank every single doctor who is here and I especially want to thank you for agreeing to fan out across the country and make the case about why this reform effort is so desperately needed… If you’re willing to speak out strongly on the things you care about…I’m confident we are going to get health reform passed this year.”
It was a real stick out your tongue and gag ‘ahhh’ moment.
Tom Price, speaking at the AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists) 66th Annual Meeting, on October 3rd 2009, urges us to call the White House TODAY and outlines a S.I.M.P.L.E. plan for Americans to follow to stop government takeover of health care:
S – Sign up for email newsletters from organizations you support.
I – Invest time and resources in groups, organizations you support.
M- Multiply your involvement by recruiting other folks every single day.
P – PetitionPelosi.com Sign up!
L – Look for AAPS YouTube videos and send them to everybody you know.
E - Expand your reach by helping others in congressional elections in 2010.
As Mr. Price reminds us, the work of politics is a battle of ideas and that battle never ends. The opposition is creative. Here’s just one recent idea supporting Obama’s plan: Blogger for Obama’s Organizing for America, Nicole Aro, is calling for college students to jump on the wobbly gurney of nationalized health care by joining her Organize a Health Reform Phone Booth program.
This week is critical. We can’t be complacent. We must be more creative. If you have a clever idea that serves to inspire more to join our cause, please share it here. In the meantime, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Share your opinion on blogs. Email, text, instant message, twitter, and Facebook your friends to ask them to call their congressional reps and the White House TODAY (202-456-1414). Stop the hypodermic needle of big government from injecting socialism into health care!