Well, it looks like Obama has done what several Presidents since Harry Truman have tried to do and failed at, and passed comprehensive health care reform legislation. Actually, I don’t believe it’s passed yet, but, according to the New York Times, Obama has been able to line up 224 votes in the House, which is 8 more than he needs to pass the bill. So, when push came to shove, it looks as though reason won out over the lies and fear-mongering of Republicans. As someone who very much likes to see truth prevail, I couldn’t be happier.
As I’ve said in the past, it’s not a perfect bill, but it’s a lot better than what we have today. 32 million more Americans will be insured. Insurance companies won’t be able to deny coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions, and, just as importantly, they won’t be able to drop policy holders once they become ill. Here, for those of you who are interested, is a breakdown showing what specific changes we’ll see year by year, as the program rolls out. And, here are details on how the new law will impact businesses.
One wonders what’s going to happen once the criminally misinformed masses on the right realize that, contrary to what they’ve been told, there aren’t government “death panels” handing down edicts on who lives and who dies. I said it a long time ago, but I really think that Republicans are going to rue the day that they stuck the “Obamacare” monicker on this. Once people start seeing the benefits of the legislation, I think there’s going to be a monumental, positive shift in public opinion. Of course, it may not come fast enough to help save Democratic seats in the upcoming midterm election. Sometimes, though, that’s the price you pay for standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing.
Republican David Frum thinks that this is the Republican’s Waterloo – the worst setback the party has seen since the 1960s. And I can only hope that he’s right. Not only do I hope that the party violently implodes, but I hope the damage is done from within, by the rightwing fringe element we’ve come to know as the Teabaggers – those individuals, cultivated by the right, who stood outside the Capitol today, calling our elected officials who want to insure them “faggots” and “niggers,” and chanting things like, “Kill the bill, and then the nigger,” referring, I’m assuming, to our President. (More disgusting yet is the fact that Republican leaders are excusing this behavior.)
So, where are we now, and what have we learned?
Personally, I love the irony. This bill is very much a conservative bill. As Frum notes, it has a lot in common with Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. And it mandates that people buy insurance through private insurers. What could be more pro-business than that? But, Republicans, instead of sharing credit for the plan, and working with the administration, chose to gamble everything on an Obama failure. They chose to put politics ahead of their constituents, and it looks as though they failed on all counts. Not only did Obama beat them, but he’ll increasingly be credited for their contributions. And, they’ll go down in history as the party of “no,” that fought him at every step, and offered nothing but lies and hostility.
But the fight on health care isn’t over yet. There’s still a chance that the public option could be introduced as an amendment, and Congressman Alan Grayson has drafted legislation to do just that. So, let’s keep this momentum going tonight, and help him keep the public option alive.
And then let’s get some of that Wall Street bonus money back, and put a few folks in jail.