President Obama delivered his thoughts on health care reform and laid out what his vision is for the reform bill. He also put to rest several myths about the reform initiative including the fact that there are no death panels and that a reform would not mean a government take-over. He also went on to say that the bill would not cover “illegal immigrants.” While it’s fine to dispel a myth about who will be covered under a new bill, I was surprised and disappointed to hear Obama use the same type of inflammatory language used by the likes of Lou Dobbs to dehumanize immigrants.
Even more upsetting was Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst in the middle of President Obama’s sentence regarding immigrants: “You lie!” The outburst was appalling for several reasons, but shocking? Hardly, given all the misinformation being spread around to fuel the fire against health care reform among right-wing groups. This also proves further how ridiculous the anti-immigrant and anti-health care sentiments have gotten – to heckle a President during an address to Congress and the American public is simply an embarrassing moment for all. These kind of tactics and outbursts have crippled any form of serious dialogue and debate around what people desperately need from a new health care policy. In case anyone out there still thinks Obama is “lying”, it is in fact (and unfortunately) true that undocumented immigrants will not be covered under any new reform bill – read more here.
In the end, it comes down to this folks: we need a robust public option and we need it now. (And after that, we need to focus on humane immigration reform!) We cannot let Wilson-type hate and fear tactics stop the efforts to pass a health care bill that allows every American to receive affordable health care. Here’s a video that breaks down what the public option is, plain and simple:
In updated news: Rep. Wilson’s democratic opponent, Rob Miller, has received almost $1 million in donations after the outburst against undocumented immigrants. People will not be fooled to support politicians who mislead them!