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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Obama pitches Health Care at Wakefield High School

Education, Health care, President Obama

Yesterday I questioned why this section was included in Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's email to the nation's principals: "Educated people are more active civically [sic] and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures. Issues like living wage, health care, increasing militarism? torture?" (That's not even a sentence. What action did Arne intend be taken on those topics?)

Today I learned* that prior to the president's very conservative national broadcast address to America's school children, he met with 40 freshmen at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. (Same school he made his broadcast address from)

Let's just say I don't think that meeting made the national news, but CNS reported it: Obama Pitched Universal Health Care to Students in Meeting Prior to His Speech on Education. It was a face to face Q&A session with innocuous questions like how has your life changed, how would your life be different if you father were involved, who would you like to have dinner with, and what were your main goals when you were in college, etc. The session was filmed, but not broadcast as far as I know.

Transcript It seemed Obama could not resist steering the question, "How [do] you motivate yourself to do all the work that goes along with your job?", toward discussing his health care reforms. He replied, "... I'm just going to be honest with you -- some of it is just you don't want to fail. Right? A lot of people are counting on me," and went on to talk about the 40,000 letters he receives a day on all different subjects. He reads 10 a day -- some inspiring, some depressing.

He elaborated on both. The inspiring being about someone who was the first to go to college. The depressing, "You hear about people who are sick but don't have health care, and suddenly they get a bill for $100,000, and there's no way they can pay for it, and they're about to lose their house."

"And you're just reminded that the country is full of really good people who sometimes are going through a hard time. They just need a break. They need a little bit of help. Maybe the way things are set up right now isn't always fair for people, and that motivates you, because you say, well, I can't make everything perfect, I can't prevent somebody from getting sick, but maybe I can make sure that they've got insurance so that when they do get sick, they're going to get some help."

Arne then announces, "Last question." Obama asks, "Who's got the mic? Well, he already had the mic, so we'll give two last questions. These two right here. Go ahead." The first was from a guy who wanted to be president and was just asking for advice.

The second question was more notable, which coincidentally was the very subject of Obama's joint session of Congress address the next day, not to mention a pretty precocious question for a freshman. No wonder Obama wanted to take that one. The newbie Freshman asked, "...currently 36 countries have universal health coverage, including Iraq and Afghanistan, which have it paid for by the United States. Why can't the United States have universal health coverage?"

Obama gives his standard pep-talk concluding his health care discussion with his usual vague generalities of how this will work despite the actual language of the bill. "So what we're trying to do is set up a system where people who have health insurance on the job, they can keep it, but if you don't have health insurance for the job, if you're self-employed, if you're unemployed, that you're able to get health insurance through another way. And we can afford to do it and it will actually, I think, over time save us money if we set that up. All right?" (No mention of how paying for all this will rest upon this freshman class' generation and all to come, or how nations like the UK have severe health care rationing.)

So that was the under-reported face-to-face discussion with the president, that just happened to include a specific question from that odd subject list included in the email to the nation's principals.

*Thanks to Nick Reed on the Jay Weber show.

A note on comments: Thanks to all your kind attention, you are improving my page load count on my weekly Brookfieldnow blog report! ;-)

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Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, BetterBrookfield, Vicki McKenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Randy Melchert, Mark Levin, The Heritage Foundation, CNS News

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