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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Watch Obama's Speech To Feel Good About Health Reform (and read Senator Kennedy's letter to feel moved)

Watch Obama's Speech To Feel Good About Health Reform (and read Senator Kennedy's letter to feel moved)

June 11, 2015

President Obama spoke on Tuesday about health reform. In part, it probably was an attempt to get ahead of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, and in part an opportunity to reflect on the progress we've made and set the record straight.

If you have the time, and want to feel good about health reform, it's worth watching the whole thing; if you don't want to watch, we've posted some highlights below for you to read.:


It's also worth going to the special "Health Care in America" website set up by the White House to go along with the speech, at www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-in-america. The website includes a timeline of efforts to pass health reform, from Teddy (Roosevelt) to Teddy (Kennedy), which flows into a timeline of implementation of the ACA. There's also lots of real-life stories and videos of people who have benefited from the law, and some quizes, too.

But the most moving part of the site is a letter our Senator Kennedy wrote to the President, with instructions that it be delivered after he died:

Letter sent posthumously from Senator Kennedy to President Obama

Here are some highlights from the President's speech:

“The rugged individualism that defines America has always been bound by a set of shared values; an enduring sense that we are in this together. That America is not a place where we simply ignore the poor or turn away from the sick. It’s a place sustained by the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper. That we have an obligation to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes, and to see the common humanity in each other.

So after nearly a century of talk, after decades of trying, after a year of sustained debate, we finally made health care reform a reality for America. .

Five years in, what we’re talking about is no longer just a law. This isn’t about the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t about Obamacare. This isn’t about myths or rumors that won’t go away.

This is reality. This is health care in America.

Once you see millions of people having health care, once you see that all the bad things that were predicted didn't happen, you'd think that it'd be time to move on. It seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people, to take care away from the people who need it the most, to punish millions with higher costs of care and unravel what's now been woven into the fabric of America." .…

There are outcomes we can calculate – the number of newly insured families, the number of lives saved. And those numbers add up to success.

Then there are the outcomes that are harder to calculate – yes, in the tally of pain and tragedy and bankruptcies that have been averted, but also in the security of a parent who can afford to take her kid to the doctor. The dignity of a grandfather who can get the preventive care he needs. The freedom of an entrepreneur who can start a new venture. The joy of a wife who thought she’d never again take her husband’s hand and go for a walk in God’s creation.”


                            - Brian Rosman