Obama: Not the First, but the Last

President Obama vows to bring meaningful reform to the health care system

In his address to a joint session of Congress last week, regarding health care, President Barack Obama said, “I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.”

President Obama brought up the fact that for years, administration after administration has been attempting to restructure the health care system and his will be the one to do it, but I have little faith that his policies will be the turning point in reform.

In his speech, the President outlined the goals he wishes to accomplish with his government health care plan. “It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don’t. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”

While his goals may be valiant and seem achievable in theory, it is my belief that the government’s attempts in accomplishing these goals may overreach the government’s role in the lives of its citizens and violate the meaning of diversity in a competitive market.

Much of his speech was also aimed at bringing Republican support for his plan. He stated, “To my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.”

While attempts at bipartisanship and “reaching across the aisle” may sound good and appear to take the other side’s interests into account, it’s difficult for one party to accept such an offer when they oppose the reforms the other supports.

This is the case with Democratic attempts to sway Republican opinions. Traditionally, the Republican Party stands for smaller central government and supports the work of private companies; and a government health care plan inherently violates these beliefs.

Now, it may seem that I strongly disapprove of everything the President said in his speech, but there were sections that I found interesting and agreed with him completely.

He spoke of the businesses that don’t provide their workers with health care, because “it forces the rest of us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors.”

He also brought up the fact that, “If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for these people’s expensive emergency room visits.” I personally feel that this is one of the major problems with our health system and people take advantage of the fact that the emergency room takes patients no matter what.

Overall, even though his address contained an incessant amount of attempts at calling on Republicans to end their opposition towards his health care reform plan, the President still had words of wisdom that should be taken seriously when addressing health care