Monday, March 22, 2010

Waking Up To Reform ...

I fell asleep on the couch.

It was a full weekend, social, emotional.

So I fell asleep. And I woke up to "Life" on the Discovery Channel.

And to a bevy of e-mail alerts about the passage of healthcare reform.

Now, as Nancy Pelosi has said, what passed today is really health-insurance reform.

We still have a long way to go, but we had to start somewhere, and tonight, we got off the blocks.

David Frum wrote an amazing piece from the conservative perspective.

A passage from his post:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

After a year of faux hysteria and true lies, it is a relief that the Right was proven wrong. "No" was not enough.

This weekend, though, was beyond the pale.

The Tea Party shrill descended on Washington once again, in what I sincerely hope were its death throes. Momentum had shifted away from their summertime histrionics. What had once looked like certain defeat had been bafflingly resurrected. And so, faced with that defeat, backed into a corner, all chips in with nothing to lose, they showed their collective hand, bared their true selves. And proved what many had suspected all along.

Inhuman. Racist. Bigots.

Berating a man with Parkinson's? Screaming epithets at members of Congress? Spitting?

Disgusting. Truly. Sickening.

It is my sincere hope that most of America saw what unfolded over these past few days and said to themselves, "Those people do not speak for me."

To those who oppose healthcare reform, by all means, don't avail yourself of the changes. Pay higher premiums. And pay those premiums year after year yet continue to risk denial of coverage when you need care. That's your right.

But now, those who are ill and most in need of insurance will not be denied because they may be a drain on profits.

Is this bill perfect? No, it is far from perfect. But it is a cornerstone, a place from which to build, the first brick, a stake in the ground. The New York Times provides an overview of the changes and what they mean.

Tonight, America declared that life is more important than the bottom line.


Blogger Doreen said...

Not sure if you heard about it yet, but they are 90% sure that a Repub House member called Stupak a baby killer while he was speaking against Repubs trying to put the Stupka language BACK IN the bill.

On to Immigration reform .... pop the corn ... it will be a LONG summer : )

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Laurel L. Russwurm said...

Glad to hear you got a start at health insurance reform. Long overdue.

(BTW... you can have more profiles, you just need to have more accounts. There's nothing stopping you from signing up with different blog hosts too.)

10:36 AM  

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