President Obama has come out swinging to defend his health care reforms, telling America that it is time for action. Addressing both houses of Congress and the nation live on television, the President said it is inexcusable for a country as rich and powerful as America to deprive its most vulnerable citizens of vital health protection.
He said: “We are the only democracy, the only advanced democracy on earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get (health) coverage.” The debate may ultimately define the success of Obama’s presidency. Undaunted, he condemned America’s collective failure to act: “Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points. Well, the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.” The President’s supporters believe he will succeed in pushing his reforms through, while the reaction from his Republican opponents is likely to be more cool. America’s powerful drug manufacturers and health insurance companies will have their say too, when Wall St opens this afternoon.