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Health Bill Passes!

This is so great for so many reasons.  Of course the bill is far from what we need but it is a start.  A huge wall has been knocked down and we can work our way through the rubble of the ramparts to continually improve this far from perfect bill.  What comes to mind is our country itself.  When it was formed it was a far cry from its ideals.  We the People did not mean that noble suggestion.  It meant We the rich, white, Christian, male, land owners.  Slavery and genocide of the indigenous peoples were the way of building this country. Women’s rights, minorities rights, children’s rights, worker’s rights…none of them but a distant fight away.  But we got them and more.  But first the wall of a monarchy had to be destroyed.

A huge wall was has been knocked down and the opportunity for  better and more substantial health care for all is now open to us.  The vote was 219-212.  But like an extra inning game won by one run, it was enough.  Landslide or squeaker it passed.  Thirty four Democrats voted with Republicans and I would like to think they should pay with their seats for their votes in the upcoming midterm elections. 

 President Obama said:

“We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests,” Mr. Obama said. “We didn’t give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”

“This isn’t radical reform,” he added, “but it is major reform.”

No matter how radical the right wing tries to portray it.  The Democrats actually accomplished something significant.  The Republicans can never say they were a part of it.  We will see who has the greater political capital for it.  Republicans shoved whatever they wanted down our throats for eight years and now they have the temerity to wail, as House Majority Leader John Boehner did:

“The American people are angry. This body moves forward against their will. Shame on us.”

No, shame on the Republican Party for their efforts to confuse and misrepresent what this bill was about.  Shame on them for being the willing tools of the private insurance companies and other special interests over the stated will of the American people.  The wailing and gnashing of right wing teeth is music to my ears. 

Our budget deficit…our huge debt incurred over the war in Iraq never raised so much as an eyebrow of concern to the GOP.  Now spending money to help our own citizens is anathema to them and cause for the most outrageous of accusations.  Socialism!  Marxism!  Armafrickingeddon!!!!  Oh, my. 

We can be judged by how we care for the least of us.  How about some compassion for those in need?  How about the middle class that is being squeezed by the nads with cruel hands of private insurers that raise their rates on a whim, that deny them coverage, that refuse to give  them the care they are paying for?  How about the poor and barely making it that can’t afford care for themselves or their children?  These are former fetuses that the Republicans seem so concerned about.

And where was the concern for this problem for the eight years the GOP was in power?  It was not even on the radar.  The New York Times this morning said:

The new costs, according to the budget office, would be more than offset by savings in Medicare and by new taxes and fees, including a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans and a tax on the investment income of the most affluent Americans.

Cost estimates by the budget office, showing that the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion in the next 10 years, persuaded some fiscally conservative Democrats to vote for the bill.

And here are a few of the “horrors” of this bill that so enrages Republicans:

Health insurers, for example, could not deny coverage to children with medical problems or suddenly drop coverage for people who become ill. Insurers must allow children to stay on their parents’ policies until they turn 26. Small businesses could obtain tax credits to help them buy insurance.

So…the Democrats accomplished something major.  This bill should have a positive impact on many peoples lives.  And the Republicans stood in the way of it the whole time yelling not only “No!” but crying “Fire” in a crowded theatre.  Their theatrics….their Becks and Bachmans, their Tea Party and tantrums…their scare tactics and slurs…their complete and unyielding cooperation…and we have a health care bill!

Good job Democrats.  Now let’s see how the passing of this bill affects the midterms.

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