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The Response

The Republicans chose a doctor — congressman and M.D. Charles Boustany. These responses, whether by a Republican or Democrat, are almost impossible undertakings. Most people tune out, and those who stay to listen spend the first half trying to figure out who it is. So it’s a mistake to compete word for word with the president and the media spinners. Boustany smartly chose not to. The full text of his remarks is here. The key is the following section, which comprises the most compelling and honest remarks spoken tonight by an elected leader:

The President had a chance tonight to take government-run health care off the table. Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.

We can do better, with a targeted approach that tackles the biggest problems. Here are four important areas where we can agree, right now:

One, all individuals should have access to coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions.

Two, individuals, small businesses and other groups should be able to join together to get health insurance at lower prices, the same way large businesses and labor unions do.

Three, we can provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor.

And, four, insurers should be able to offer incentives for wellness care and prevention — something particularly important to me. I operated on too many people who could have avoided surgery if they’d simply made healthier choices earlier in life.

And he didn’t insult the other party or the American people along the way. Good for him.


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