What began as a much anticipated, very achievable dream; to finally bring real health care reform to America has now regressed to the point that it is in distinct danger of collapse. How could this possibly have happened? An unanticipated problem emerged. President Obama simply has not been able to make clear to the American people specifically what it would include and how it would work and, so, they won't buy it.
Sure, he has talked about some key elements of it, but never goes below the surface to the meat of the issue, the public option. He has assured us that if we like our current medical insurance we can keep it. The insurance companies would no longer be able to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition nor could policies be indiscriminately canceled; loss of a job would not result in a loss of coverage.
He told us that his first choice was for a single-payer system (something very similar to Medicare) but that it was not possible because we could not start a system from scratch. His apparent second choice was for a public option whereby Americans would be able to choose from several options for coverage; these options would bring about tough competition for established insurance providers and that would significantly lower costs of medical care. So, without a doubt, the public option was his cornerstone of real reform.
But, here is the problem that he created and why his objective of establishing real health care reform is under great siege. He speaks passionately about it in his presentations to Americans all round the country, including in town hall meetings. But his remarks are just too vague and, because of the generalities he puts forward, the American public now seems to be more confused than ever - certainly many people have not been convinced to support with him with great enthusiasm.
Watching this entire scenario unfold has been truly mind-boggling but of late it has become real scary. It appears that Mr. Obama's failure to sell it to the American people and seal the deal has now opened a nightmare of sorts; The GOP, never on board with this reform, together with the health care lobbyists in D.C. and the vicious right wing pundits on radio and TV, have now launched a very intensive, ugly campaign to bring it down and completely destroy it.