Obama pushes health care overhaul

Was failure to invest behind D.C. train wreck?

Published on Peoples Weekly World PWW, by John Wojcik, June 23, 2009.

WASHINGTON – At a news conference Tuesday at the White House President Barack Obama called for the creation of a national health care system that would cover the 47 million now without insurance, a clean energy economy, and for the Iranian government to stop its attacks on political opponents.

During the press conference the president came out swinging against right-wing critics who have kept up a continual drumbeat of attacks against administration policies on health care, the economy, the deficit and Iran. He also took issue with those who are saying his administration has bitten off more than it can chew.

“To those who, here in Washington, have grown accustomed to sky-is-falling prognoses and the certainties that we cannot get this done, I have to revive an old saying we had from the campaign. Yes we can,” the president declared.

Polls now show that over 72 percent of the American public supports an overhaul of the health care system that includes a strong public option …

… Bill McMahon, 72, a retired carpenter in Brooklyn, N.Y., told the World last Sunday that, “as far as the stimulus package is concerned – give it a chance – it hasn’t had time to get out yet. The Republicans are ready to pounce. They are counting on the people not being able to understand that it will take time to fix this mess.”

McMahon’s wife, Sara, 74, emerged from the small Windsor Terrace home the couple has occupied for the last 40 years. “We raised three kids here and thank God they’re all healthy,” she said. “But what really burns me up is these senators who are bought and paid for by the health care industry. If they don’t get with it and give us a plan with a public option they better watch out, Democrats included. We’ll get rid of them next time.”

Windsor Terrace is a predominantly white working-class neighborhood that had not voted Democratic in a national election since Lyndon Johnson was elected. Obama trounced McCain in the neigblorhood, however, with a 54-46 percent margin of victory. (full text).

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