He said, "I'm the president, and I think this has to get done." This sort of statement is interpreted as arrogance by people who don't like the speaker, and as authority by people who do. I think the truth is actually somewhere in the middle because the laws of physics actually require a phenomenal concentration of arrogance to stabilize the phenomenal concentration of authority that comes with the Presidency.
On the subject of healthcare reform, I think he did a good job of summarizing the reason we should at least talk about it. He said the cost of doing nothing is more than enough reason to do something (cuz the current system is on track to bankrupt the federal government); since we should do something, we should do it right. Doing it right means it doesn't add to the deficit, it protects the middle class and it satisfies healthcare experts. He also said there is so much waste in the current system that we can provide healthcare to everyone; if we can get people insurance that pays for preventative care they won't end up in the emergency room making the rest of us pay for their amputated foot instead of for cheaper counseling on diabetes prevention.
The healthcare system is incredibly complicated. That's something that seems to be forgotten when discussing healthcare reform. Additionally, it is a service that cannot be suspended while being overhauled. The average person doesn't even have the language skills necessary to frame the issue, let alone discuss anything approaching a solution. By way of an example, out of the dozens of times pundits mentioned the "cost" of the healthcare reform plan, only a couple times did anyone bother to mention that it was the projected cumulative cost over 10 years, expressed in current dollars.
Even trying to talk about how much it might cost requires several qualifications and each qualification can be further qualified. Thinking about it is tough, let alone expressing it in a sentence. So, instead of admitting how complicated it is, we just gloss over the parts (99.99%) we don't understand and assume there is nothing significant hiding in the fog. It's like when people assumed the ocean floor was flat until they actually got a look at it.
Anywho, the commentary which followed was even more fun.
- he didn't add anything new
- apparently Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest is way more important than national healthcare
- he's a great liar
- nothing is worth doing unless a list of bullet points can fully explain it
- I don't understand what his plan is (despite the fact that he opened the press conference by saying the plan is still being debated)
- I don't want the government aggregating rates of medical conditions (despite the fact there is no reason names need to be attached to conditions)
- Tough to make a hard sell for a proposal that's still evolving
- Republicans don't have an alternative, just objections