Opinion: <em>Sit down!</em> Obama’s not done talking healthcare yet


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Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.

Here’s a photo of President Obama and staff applauding what the White House caption says is the House of Representatives’ vote passing his healthcare legislation Sunday night. Look at him. Doesn’t he look absolutely ecstatic?

Today, in the East Room the president will sign what aides say is the healthcare legislation he’s been talking about endlessly for the better part of a year while Vice President Joe ‘Shovel Ready’ Biden drove the economic stimulus package so that unemployment crept up to 9.7%.


Biden has recently been given the additional administration responsibility of introducing the president. So today at the White House he’ll introduce a man who needs no introduction, the 44th president of these United States. So that the world can watch...

...him sign the paper. (Good thing it’s not a bank-sale mortgage on some laid-off worker’s foreclosed home or the left-handed Obama would have to initial all 2,700 pages.)

After signing what is presumably the ceremonial copy of the healthcare legislation, Obama will drive over to the Interior Department.

Biden has canceled what was supposed to be the grand unveiling of a new national anti-drug strategy today. Obviously, something that trivial can wait because Joe is needed too over at the Interior Department. You’ll never guess why?

Biden will reintroduce The Boss. And because we’ve been short on Obama healthcare talk nationally for some months now, Obama will talk some more about the healthcare legislation.

And then on Thursday, because Obama won this historic legislative victory on Sunday and signed it on Tuesday, the president will fly a 747 all the way out to -- where else? -- Iowa City for a town hall meeting to campaign for healthcare. Which he already won and signed and was introduced twice by Biden to talk about.

Other than that and whatever else the White House publicity team can wring out of The Smoker’s healthy victory lap, we’re surely done with healthcare talk.


There are, as you read this, at least thirty-seven (37) states considering lawsuits over this gazillion-dollar healthcare bill, mainly over its constitutionality in requiring citizens to buy health insurance. There will be efforts to repeal the measure.

But House Speaker Nancy ‘Where’s My Airplane?’ Pelosi is obviously (see photo) enjoying the media attention as possibly one of the most powerful women in the nation or maybe even the planet. Despite her pathetic poll numbers.

And as our wise and wily veteran political colleague Mark Z. Barabak wrote elsewhere on this site, the subject of the divisive and expensive government healthcare bill might come up -- who knows? -- in just about every single congressional campaign across the country leading up to November’s midterm elections, when, historic patterns suggest, the White House party was already set to lose some seats on the Hill.

The average House seat loss in recent decades is 16; if Republicans win 40, Pelosi becomes an ex-speaker like Newt Gingrich.

Obama’s strategists will try to find some other things to accomplish legislatively in coming months to put healthcare a little more in the rearview mirror. What about additional government financial regulations? Card check? And/or immigration reform? That sounds good and it has the added potential benefit of splitting the newly unified GOP.

Who knows? If the administration has a couple of minutes, it might even try something more about the economy and jobs that have been atop the public’s priority list throughout the rancorous healthcare argument that still isn’t even close to over.

BTW, now that the House of Representatives has voted, cast your own ballot on Obama’s healthcare ideas and see how thousands of other Ticket readers voted by clicking over here.

--Andrew Malcolm

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