In case you’ve forgotten, this is what a president’s supposed to sound like.
While Donald Trump tried to distract the nation from the Senate’s healthcare bill with tweets about Russia, “Cryin’ Chuck,” and those non-existent Comey “tapes,” Barack Obama used Facebook to deliver a 939-word message defending his own health care law and asking Americans to call on their senators to vote down the AHCA.
There’s plenty here that takes direct aim at the current health care debate, like the notion that this is simply a move to wipe away a law belong to Obama: “the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.”
There’s a reference to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimation that 23 million people will lose health care under the new plan: “That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”
And there’s criticism of the GOP’s secrecy surrounding their bill: “We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain.”
It’s also a rare thing to see a previous president fighting against his successor for his legacy legislation just months after leaving office.
But that’s what Obama does in a post that has all the touches of his previous speeches, including a sense of empathy that has been completely lacking from Trump’s speeches on a health care proposal that he himself described as “mean.”
I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?
He closes with a call to action and, perhaps, a shout to those that supported him in the past but now feel left behind by a directionless Democratic Party.
If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.
Read the words and you can hear Obama’s voice — his cadence, his tenor — and, for just a fleeting moment, allow yourself to feel a little bit of hope.
UPDATE June 22 4:04 pm PT:
Trump finally addressed healthcare on Twitter hours later, insisting “ObamaCare is dead.”