Meet William Ihle, the Face of Health Care Reform?

by Michael Sean Winters

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Is the White House finally listening? For months, many of us have been asking them to put a human face on health care reform, to find the child who had been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and who has it today because of the new law, and let that child do for health care reform what Ryan White did for the debate on AIDS funding. The DNC has released a new video that I hope they will turn into a series of 60 second spots to run nationwide.
The reason to put a human face on this issue is obvious. The policies contained in the new law are difficult to understand, to be sure. But, everyone understands a human story, no one more so than Catholic swing voters. We Catholics put human faces on everything. Have a lost cause? Pray to St. Jude. Are you Irish? Pray to St. Patrick. Facing a terminal illness in your family? Pray to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death. For us Catholics, this way of viewing the world is rooted, ultimately, in our dogmatic belief about the Incarnation and its import. This way of viewing the world is for the Catholic imagination like breathing is for our lungs. We don't even know we are doing it.
I will venture a prediction. I young William Ihle is a household name by this time next year, the Dems will win the health care debate because those who attack it will not be seen as attacking this policy proposal or that. They will be seen as attacking William Ihle. Here is the video:

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