Tonight, President Obama is addressing the nation and Congress as he tries to regain control of the health care debate. The summer recess did not go well for the Democrats, who saw slipping poll numbers from the public and increasing outcry from Americans over public options and the speed that healthcare proposals were being pushed. The President spent yesterday meeting with Democratic leaders on the Hill, and Sen. Baucus, who leads the charge on health care, is trying to get all proposals and counter-responses submitted to him this morning.
There are increasing fears on the Democratic side that health care will end up costing moderate seats or Republican seats won during the Obama wave that put so many Democrats in office. Many Americans are worried about the potential costs and impact on an already hurting economy. Health care takes up at least 18% of the American economy, and a plan that could hurt that industry could end up sending the economy in a deeper recession.
There have also been threats to lock Republicans out of health care reform. If this happens, not only will Democrats be flexing their electoral muscles but Republicans would lose a major opportunity to play a role as problem solvers – and shed their image as the Party of No. Republican legislators can play a vital role- especially moderate Republicans- as balancing the demands of Democrats with the needs of a country whose delicate economy requires fiscal conservatism. Moderate Republicans can also navigate through the muck surrounding social issues- like abortion- by finding common ground solutions that will satisfy both sides.
What would you want to see Moderate Republicans offer? And will you be watching Obama’s speech tonight? Tell us your thoughts below.