Sep 162009

The Catholic Messenger asked for comment about President Barack Obama’s address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9. Here are some responses:

• Andrew Schilling, 17, a senior at Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School in Burlington:

“Overall, I thought it was a good speech. However, it wasn’t very detailed and usually the devil’s in the details. However, I liked how he expressed his willingness to work with Republicans. I liked how he assured people that abortion wouldn’t be in the bill. I liked how he is willing to work with Republicans on medical liability reform. Overall I thought it was a very good speech.”

What he didn’t like about President Obama’s speech: “I’m not a big fan of the public option he is proposing. I’m not too convinced about his health care plan not adding to the deficit.”

Andrew also is concerned that a public option would run a lot of private insurers out of business.

He agrees that people are being priced out of the insurance system, but a public option plan would create an unfair playing field, he believes.

Andrew is very interested in politics and plans on majoring in political science in college, he said.

• Sister Jan Cebula, OSF, president of the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton:

What Sr. Cebula liked about President Obama’s health care reform speech was “the president’s call to set aside partisanship to pass health care reform that provides universal coverage.”

What she didn’t like: “The rudeness toward the president — calling him a liar and booing.”

Of his assurances that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place,” Sr. Cebula said: “Like other provisions these will have to be watched to see what is included in the final bill.”

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