Wednesday, September 9, 2009
What Obama Needs To Say
Tonight, President Barack Obama will address both houses of Congress, trying to garner support from those elected political heroes, but also from the American people.
(We will carry the speech live at 5pm on Mac & Gaydos on News Talk 92.3 KTAR and then have live reaction.)
With his poll numbers precipitously falling below the important 50 percent approval rating, the president needs to say three things for the Congress as well as the people to rally behind his bold, almost radical, plan to offer health care to everyone through the government.
1. Barack Obama needs to tone down the rhetoric about the have’s versus the have not’s. We all understand that there are people who do not have health care. But we also need to remember that this isn’t the 19th century and people are not dying in the streets because of pestilence, lack of caring or crisis. Don’t scare us into your plan, Mr. President.
2. The president needs to give more details and less oratory. Don’t finger point. Let’s not get caught up in politics as usual casting shame and pointing an accusing finger at people (who have every right) who are skeptical and want more details on what your “public option” truly contains. The president is a wonderful, inspirational speaker. But when someone tries to radically shift the way we get and receive health care, which is a truly personal decision, the public needs more information.
3. And, finally, Mr. President, please shift your focus from the government or “public” option to making our health care conversation about the patient first. Let’s make sure the insurance companies can stay in business, but let’s stop treating people on the defensive. Let’s have doctors treat people, not live with the fear of being sued. It’s a simple, almost elementary cliché: When you put people first, people respond.
So let’s hope President Obama has seen the error of his ways. By trying to shove something down the American people’s throats, his poll numbers have plummeted. By including the American people in the debate about national health care, Barack may not get exactly what his agenda set out earlier this year, but he won’t suffer from Americans losing confidence in the man who is all about Hope and Change.