POTUS: Speech On Health Care Reform

NEW YORK TIMES: There was high drama in the setting and most of all in the timing. After a summer of chaos, criticism and confusion, President Obama stood before Congress on Wednesday night — with three major networks broadcasting live (Fox sat out the speech in favor of the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance”) — and tried to seize the last word on health care reform. “And I will not accept the status quo as a solution,” Mr. Obama said. “Not this time. Not now.” MORE

PAUL BEGALA: The President shone a spotlight on the sin of rescission — the process by which insurance companies protect their profits by dumping customers when they get sick. This outrage has been under-covered by greedy_guy.thumbnail.jpgthe media, but congressional hearings revealed that just three insurance companies have kicked 20,000 customers off their plans. They included the woman President Obama referred to tonight, whose aggressive breast cancer was denied treatment because she once had acne. The congressional hearings uncovered documents proving that the insurance companies had saved themselves $300 million by kicking those folks off — and insurance bureaucrats got bonuses and promotions based on who they dumped. This is an outrage. If Sarah Palin wants to see a real-world death panel, she should look no further than the corporate insurance executives whom she and her fellow Republicans so zealously defend. MORE

gopelephantpunch.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: In what may become the most talked-about moment of President Obama’s speech to Congress on health care, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, pointed his finger and shouted, “You lie!” It was an angry retort to Mr. Obama’s statement that illegal immigrants would not benefit from proposed health care legislation. And while other points in Mr. Obama’s speech were debatable, this one was not. The legislation approved by three House committees clearly states that only lawful residents will qualify for new health insurance subsidies. “Nothing in this subtitle,” it says, “shall allow federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” MORE

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