President Barack Obama who has given 263 speeches in his first 231 days in office will address a joint session of Congress on health care. Another speech I’m sure will turn the health care debate around because we haven’t heard enough of him on this issue (tonight will be his 29th speech on health care). An AP-GfK poll released today shows that public disapproval of President Obama’s handling health care has increased to 52%, and his ability to communicate effectively seems to be diminishing.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) explains what he thinks President Obama will need to accomplish tonight:
His task is going to be to convince the American people that the proposal of a government option doesn’t mean a government replacement of the healthcare system as we know it. Secondly, the test will include his being able to convince members, as well as the public, that an expanded government role will save the taxpayers money. Because I think intuitively that most Americans believe that more government in health care means more rationing and more forced discrimination on the basis of gender and age.
It’s a huge challenge for him, especially in light that the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), said today that the “public option” can’t pass. Today in a whip count it seems that the House lacks the votes it needs to pass the health care bill. Former Governor Sarah Palin in yesterday’s op/ed in the Wall Street Journal argues that a “government option” contradicts common sense:
Common sense tells us that the government’s attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats’ proposals "will provide more stability and security to every American."
With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it’s a promise Washington can’t keep.
No speech President Obama can make will take those realities away. Regardless of what President Obama ends up saying tonight, however, you can count on his speech being labeled historic by the MSM. Jimmy Fallon gives us fair warning about tonight’s speech:
President Obama delivers a primetime healthcare speech to a joint session of Congress tonight. Side effects may include headaches, nausea & dizziness.
If you’re not up to watching his 264th speech tonight, here are your TV viewing options or you can read a book or something. If you plan to watch you are invited to come back here for the liveblog below, I’ll go live at 7:45p EST/6:45p CST. If you don’t have access to a TV, you can watch his address here, but be sure to keep a window open for our liveblog! Also Governor Palin just posted on Facebook again – call it the Sarah Palin media guide to watching the Obama address (HT: Josh Painter who kindly is plugging the liveblog!).
Update: You can replay the liveblog below. I’d like to thank Art Smith of The Conservative Reader, Steve from Motor City Times, Bill Smith at ARRA News Service, Maxine and Bev for participating tonight!
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Category: National Politics & Government