Obama talks health care with students PRIOR to televised speech

@Rollo1 (16685)
Boston, Massachusetts
September 9, 2009 11:17am CST
So the speech was an inspiring pep talk and there were no political overtones? That's okay, Obama gave his political speeches prior to that televised one we all saw in a Q&A with students held prior to the broadcast. "Although the president avoided controversial topics in his speech, he did promote health care reform in a face-to-face discussion at Wakefield High School" Included in the questions was one extraordinarily informed student (plant) who asked: “And my question is, 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?” Sounds like most high school students I know... Obama noted that the majority of Americans still have health insurance through their jobs: “Most of them are happy with it..." That's an interesting admission, but it doesn't stop him from wanting to take that away from them, does it? Here's a link to the story: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/53712 So, anyone think that this was supposed to be in the original speech? Anyone think it was inappropriate for him to discuss his agenda - was that the political indoctrination that we have been told was all in our imaginations?
5 people like this
9 responses
• United States
9 Sep 09
I am not in the least bit surprised. I have just been waiting to see what underhand trick he would pull. Now I shall be watching waiti to see what underhand trick will pull on his TV appearance on healthcare.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Sep 09
I guess I would have been surprised if he didn't find a way to make this about his political agenda.
3 people like this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
9 Sep 09
I would say that he has no right to push his health care agenda on the students. And if the talk was on "work hard, and study, and you may be President," that would have been all right. Or if it were on what it is like to live in the White House, because that is what many students want to have. I also suspect that that student was a plant. Because how would he know that 36 countries had universal health care? If he had said England, Canada , and France, then I would have figured that that student was real.
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Sep 09
I think the student might have come up with that question, with some coaching and/or research, but not off the top of his head. That means this session was a planned event that no one would know about except for this article. More transparency... it's underwhelming.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Sep 09
Great mids thin alike, I discovered this story earlier today and mentioned it in another discussion. I was thinking about putting up a discussion about it but didn't get around to it, I'm glad you did! Here's what I had to say about it earlier: http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/2127094.aspx 2. myLot reputation of 56/100. AngryKittyMSV (1623) ranked 355 out of 6,064 in politics 1 hour ago Before Obama's televised speech to schoolchildren yesterday, he pitched universal healthcare to students at the school he later gave his speech from. Makes one wonder if the pitch OFF-camera was part of the original speech intended for ON-camera before people raised their voices of concern. http://cnsnews.com/news/article/53712 The above pretty much somes up my thoughts on the matter.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Sep 09
I didn't realize you had posted the link elsewhere, but it's a good thing because we need as many people as possible to read this article and realize that there is ALWAYS an ulterior motive where this administration is concerned. I have my own theory which doesn't rule out the possibility that this speech was quickly thrown together and patterned after George Bush the elder's 1991 speech when they realized that this one wasn't flying under the radar.
3 people like this
@xfahctor (14130)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Sep 09
I would like to find out who the student was who asked the question and find out if he asked on his own, or was coached in his answer, it shouldn't be that hard to find out. I don't think a Q&A session with high school students is nessesarily a bad thing, as long as it ISN'T staged and all questions are given equal time. I do know high school kids who do think individualy and criticly, we have had a few in this very forum in fact. I know a number who are in the patriot movement who in some cases are smarter, more informed and far less brain washed than many adults I know.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Sep 09
This is something that my daughter would be very capable of asking and she is a senior in high school. X you are exactly right find out who the student was and see if it was them speaking or someone pushing them to ask the question. I think jumping to the conclusion that this child was a plant suggesting that he was pushing his agenda. Kids of that age will be asking such question for the simple fact many will need health care insurance and if they choose not to go to college then their parents plan does not cover them. Children today are more informed with what is going on around us than adults are willing to admit.
2 people like this
@xfahctor (14130)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
9 Sep 09
Former president Clinton came to my daughter's highschool a couple years ago, she was a junior at the time, she said she REALLY wished there was a question and answer session because she wanted to ask why his undeclared war in Bosnia was ok, but Bush's undeclared war in Iraq was NOT. I think we need to give a little credit to our older students, they aren't all hollywood absorbed, brainwashed fools. I do have at least a tiny bit of hope for our youth still.
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Sep 09
I will concede there may be students who have the ability to formulate this question. I am probably just going on my experience of the teens I know, and possibly being a grumpy old person. However, even if this student came up with this question by himself, I doubt it was off-the-cuff, which means that the Q&A session was planned in advance but never revealed to the American public. Just based on the timelines involved I would say that this speech was planned long ago. The DOE had the materials to schools by August 26th. That means they had to have had some time to develop them. So they had the president's speech for at least a couple of weeks prior to that, maybe more. But they don't tell us it is going to happen until late in the week prior to the speech. They don't release the text until 24 hours ahead of the speech. Then the speech seems mild but the study materials don't match the speech. It's all a bit conveniently secretive. This transparency thing must be harder than he thought it would be.
2 people like this
@opalina143 (1237)
• Morristown, New Jersey
10 Sep 09
I have to admit, I don't understand you people. #1. how can you jump to the conclusion that the student was a plant- you have no evidence of that. Health insurance is a topic on everyone's minds lately. It's on the news, parents are talking about it, schools are buzzing with it- when I was in school the school paper ran weekly debates about everything from gay rights to the deficit to abortion- and it was student run. High schoolers are a lot smarter than you give them credit for. #2. How can you blame Obama for answering a question in a Question and Answer session? What is he supposed to say when someone asks him a question? Is he supposed to say "I'm sorry son, I can't answer that. Conservative people would say I have an agenda." Should the students have been told in advance not to ask certain questions, like health care, so he couldn't speak about them? what topics are taboo in a question and answer setting? How could he be pushing health care if he is merely responding to a question? What if he had been asked about abortion or global warming, would be be pushing an agenda if he answered questions about that? How can you answer a question about a controversial issue without explaining what you believe in, and why is that a "political speech?" #3. I mean, was it even Obama's choice not to have the question and answer session taped? Don't tv stations usually decide what is going to be aired and what isn't? They base it on time constraints. Do you really believe Obama stopped reporters at the door and said "Don't film this- someone might ask me about health insurance, and then I might have to answer and make conservatives mad?" That just doesn't seem realistic to me. #4. Everything I have heard or read about the health care reform bill since the beginning says that it will NOT take away private insurance from people. People will be allowed to keep their private insurance. The public insurance option is for people who do NOT want to keep their private insurance or who have no insurance to begin with or can't afford private insurance. Why the lie? Why are so many Republicans lying about this? The bill says you can keep your private health insurance, the press release says it, the speech says it, where are you getting this from? Please don't lie.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Sep 09
#1 - Even if the student formulated the question himself, I am sure he did not come up with it at that last minute. What it means is that we were told there would be no political agenda or politicizing the event but this session obviously went into some very partisan areas. We weren't told there was a question and answer session planned. That's not very transparent. Did you read the article? #2 - Did you read the article? He did more than answer one question. He waxed poetic about health care reform, told sad stories of people losing their homes and poor, sick, dying people and how they all need health care. He campaigned for his health care reform. #3 - Have you read anything the White House said about this speech? We were never told there was a special session prior to the televised event and yes, the president and the school itself can keep the media out anytime they like. The speech was streamed live on the White House website for all the schools. They don't have constraints that keep them from showing the president. For those of us not lucky enough to be in school, CSPAN is the television station that broadcast the speech. If they cared about time constraints they wouldn't show day-long broadcasts of the US House of Representatives and the snooze-fest that usually is. #4 - Have you read the bill? Don't call me a liar unless you have and you understand what it says. I know you have read through a lot of discussions about health care reform. Have you never read the parts that explain the provisions of this bill? Even the media admit that when Obama continuously says that you can keep your health insurance that he is stating an untruth. Maybe it's because he never read the bill so he believes you. Speeches? Like the campaign ones about hope and change and transparency? Don't make me laugh.
2 people like this
• Morristown, New Jersey
10 Sep 09
As to number one, the student knew that Obama was coming, he probably planned the question in advance, yes, but that doesn't mean he was a plant from the president. If I knew Obama was coming to my school, I would have had the same question planned out to ask. I don't see what is wrong with having a question and answer session with students. As to number four, I would like it if you could possibly give me some examples (links would be fine) of the 'media' saying that Obama is lying when he says that you can keep your own health care. I am going by the press release that was sent from the white house as well as what I've heard on the news (MSNBC and CNN, mainly, I am not a big advocate of Fox) If you can provide some links to REPUTABLE sources that take actual quotes from the bill to prove that we will not be allowed to keep our private insurance, I will retract what I said....I am not sure if you have read the bill in its entirety either, btw.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
10 Sep 09
I have previously posted the relevant sections of the bill that relate to keeping your health insurance, but I will get that info for you. I will respond as soon as I can. I have the bill downloaded to my computer in a pdf and it's a strain on this old machine's capabilities, so it's slow going but I will get back to you with the section of the bill that gives the guidelines.
1 person likes this
@clrumfelt (5428)
• United States
9 Sep 09
They had cleaned up the speech a bit too much. What they had left was out of character for the Obama adm. so I'm not surprised at all to learn there was something more. He never misses an opportunity to stump his liberal agenda, WITH EVERYONE. Obama lives by the Rahm Immanuel Philosophy of "never miss the opportunity presented by a good crisis" and I think the health care issue is Obama's crisis at the moment.
@rg0205 (2638)
• Hong Kong
9 Sep 09
You couldn't have said it better. It's so nice to see/hear that not all people are being completely brain washed.
3 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
9 Sep 09
The speech is nearly identical to the one George Bush gave at a school in 1991. I would say it was a very quick rewrite to replace the speech he had originally planned.
3 people like this
• United States
10 Sep 09
I believe that this first speech to our school children was used to find out how many schools or school districts actually permitted their students to watch the President's speech. IF they find that most schools DID show the speech, then the "foot is in the door" for the next speech and the next one...etc. which is when politics he originally planned to air, will be introduced into the school rooms. I know for a fact that they completely changed all Pres. Obama was going to address, when they heard that parents were outraged that he would want to address the classrooms without giving the parents a chance to know what he was going to talk about to their children FIRST! In the schools where I live, teachers were undecided at first, whether to show it or not but after hearing from MANY MANY parents, the speech was not shown in the classrooms of either school that my children attend.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Sep 09
Wow! this health care issue in the US is really taking time to dig it out to solve it. now, he addresses the kids about this problem. sometimes i wonder if they did agree to that speech, a lot of questions will probably asked but didn't give time
1 person likes this
15 Sep 09
Kinda makes me want to move to Afghanistan and/or Eye-rock.
@pormadi (1300)
• Indonesia
10 Sep 09
I do not know what is the real problem there. But I am salute USA. USA has helped many countries in the world, included my country. Although USA always hated in my country, I think USA as a good model for democracy.