President Obama's speech continued his efforts to seduce the main organized interest groups of the health industry to listen to the magic words rather than pay attention to the content of imminent health legislation. Many of the doctors in the audience, no doubt, liked the non-controversial parts of the president's speech, as well as the flattery he extended when he talked about defensive medicine. Nevermind his straw men and his denials that grew loudest when they concerned the most accurate and telling criticisms of his current plans.
Even so, the health care industry alone, even if combined with employer groups, could not, should not, and would not derail the president's health reform agenda. But the broader public could and might as the actual details and future implications of how Congress will try to hammer round patient pegs into square political sinkholes unfold more transparently. While the teleprompter is shut off, we should get back to the realities of accountable and affordable patient-centered health reform. It is, indeed, imperative, but we haven't seen it offered to us yet as responsible adults.
Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI.