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Sunday, September 13, 2009

NH Papers React to the President's Health Care Speech

Two area newspapers ran Sunday editorials this morning claiming that the President’s health care address to Congress has not yet sealed the deal with regards to his reform plans.

The Nashua Telegraph said the speech was productive, but far from a game changer:
Most of the post-speech polling reveals what you would expect. The majority of Democrats were positive; Republican perceptions were relatively unchanged; independents remain divided. …

Prospects for passage of a bill by October or November are now slightly improved or at least not damaged. The president did no harm to his cause and appears to have provided some much-needed momentum.

His opponents did their cause no good, and may have in fact created a backlash with their European-style catcalls, including the now infamous “You lie” from a South Carolina representative who seemed to confuse a joint session of Congress with a town-hall meeting.

While the speech wasn't a game-changer, it was a timely and necessary call to action on a historical imperative – that we reform health care in the United States now or forfeit the opportunity for another generation.
The Eagle Tribune was a bit more critical:
President Obama said "the time for bickering is over." But if we cannot have political disagreement about a change of this magnitude, what is there left to discuss?

The president too easily glosses over some of the real concerns Americans have about elements of reform. …

But the president neglected to tell Americans that the plans before Congress include a mix of rules, regulations and incentives that surely will result in some employers dropping their health insurance coverage, leaving employees at the mercy of whatever government insurance option is available. …

Americans have learned, through bitter experience, that government cannot be relied upon to realize those savings. Government is a haven for waste, fraud and inefficiency.

President Obama cannot simply will health care reform into being. He has to convince the American people his plan is right for the country.

So far, he hasn't done it.

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