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My Fellow Americans -- The Speech Obama Should Give on Health Care

A few novel suggestions for how the president might use his speech before the joint session of Congress to break the health-care reform log-jam.

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So let me add this: If Congress does not pass these two bills by the end of the current session, in time for the holiday recess in December, I will declare a national emergency because of the recession and the huge rise in the uninsured that it has caused, and will issue executive orders implementing both these measures. It’s not the way I would prefer to see things done, but if Congress cannot act, I promise you and the American people, I will. (applause and boos)

Let me also say that this program is a priority for me and for all Americans, and anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- who gets in the way can expect to hear from me, and from the American people, in this coming election year. (applause)

Thank you and good night. (applause)

Dave Lindorff is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the blog, This Can't Be Happening . A regular columnist for CounterPunch, he also writes frequently for Extra! and Salon, as well as for Businessweek, The Nation and Treasury & Risk Magazine .