Sobering But “Good Read” — On Where We Are Headed — This Morning’s New York Times, On Health Care Reform

It is a realistic assessment of what Mr. Obama might still be able to achieve — in his final three years.

It is also a reminder of the legacies of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower — and although the author doesn’t mention him — I would add President John F. Kennedy to that list. Do take a look:

. . . .It is a vision of partnership between government and citizens that Mr. Obama has described since he was a state senator in Illinois, and it draws on the legacies of three Republican presidents — Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Yet as president, he has only partly realized the policies reflecting that vision and has little chance of fulfilling all of them, given the opposition of conservative Republicans in Congress. . . .

Arguing that his ideas have a historical pedigree in federal investments like land-grant colleges, national parks, Depression-era public works projects, interstate highways and the G.I. Bill, Mr. Obama will again press for initiatives to promote manufacturing, energy innovations, education, infrastructure projects and more. . . .

“For too long, few things left working families more vulnerable to the anxieties and insecurities of today’s economy than a broken health care system,” [Mr. Obama] said. “So we took up the fight because we believe that, in America, nobody should have to worry about going broke just because somebody in their family or they get sick.”

“Now that the website is working for the vast majority of people,” Mr. Obama added, “we need to make sure that folks refocus on what’s at stake here, which is the capacity for you or your families to be able to have the security of decent health insurance at a reasonable cost through choice and competition on this marketplace, and tax credits that you may be eligible for that can save you hundreds of dollars in premium costs every month, potentially. . . .”

Mr. Obama’s push is timed, in part, to help Senate Democrats pass a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in three stages over two years, raise the separate minimum wage for tipped workers, and peg both to rise with inflation. . . .

Many Democrats see the minimum wage as a political issue that will help them in the 2014 midterm congressional elections. National polls show support in both parties for a wage increase. In a poll last month by CBS News, two-thirds of Americans — including more than half of Republicans — said the federal minimum wage should be higher. . . .

We will continue to support this, and “do the right, as we see the right” — these reform efforts — as being the moral, and economically sensible, things to do, for the long haul. And for our children, and grandchildren.


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