Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Reform, etc.

I have spent most of the day watching coverage of the historic health care reform events going on in Congress today, and I have found the whole procedure quite fascinating. In addition, I have decided that my avid viewing of The West Wing has helped me understand the events of the day. For example, as the whole compromise with Bart Stupak over abortion was being put into play, I thought to myself that Obama must be trying to get above and beyond the 216 votes needed, and one reason he might do this is to give some vulnerable Democrats some political cover by allowing them to vote "no." And then a bunch of pundits said the same thing, and then I felt smart. But in my head I was picturing the fictional but brilliant Leo McGarry, Josh Lyman, and Toby Ziegler finagling with the members of Congress.

Thanks, television!

But as you might guess, I am very happy with the way this day has unfolded. After President Obama's State of the Union speech a couple of months ago, I began to feel a bit of a tidal shift. I got into a few arguments with some ofmy liberal friends about this very issue. They were very disappointed in Obama and were ready to throw in the towel on health care reform and the entire Obama presidency. But I said, "Not so fast." I thought to myself, "Obama is very smart. He knows what he's doing. I am going to have faith that he will get us where we should be." And he did -- sort of. The health care bill is not perfect, but it is good.

What has made me most frustrated in the past few weeks and all day today has been the way the Republicans have been claiming to be on the same side as the majority of Americans. This is simply not true. It is far from true that the people are on the side of the Republicans. In fact, the majority of Americans want a public option. So it is a funny twist of the facts for Republicans to say they vote with the people. I suppose technically it might be true that the American people don't want this bill (though the polls are conflicting on this), but the reason is that the bill does not go far enough, not that they don't want the reform at all.

Right now, I'm listening to John Boehner talk about disgracing the history of Congress and the "People's House." John Boehner should read The Federalist #10 and #51. He should look at the unpopularity at the time of things like Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, Emancipation, etc. But most importantly, he should get his facts straight.

This bill is so far from a "government takeover of health care" that such a criticism is simply silly.

The voting will be starting in a few minutes . . . I'm going to go watch, and then I'll finish typing this post.

And it passes!

The Republicans have been talking about this bill as anti-American. I believe the opposite is true. This health care bill is absolutely pro-America, pro-Founding Fathers, pro-human.

I'll have more to say on this in the days to come . . . But this is a big day.


At 10:23 PM, Blogger scott w posited...

Big Day indeed!!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger PBear posited...

If the CBO says a cut to medicare, an expansion of medicaid, a tax on healthy people, and some insurance regulation will reduce the deficit, I'll give em the benefit of the doubt.

At 2:54 AM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

This bill is absolutely pro-American, if one qualifies their ideal America as socialist-lite.

As always, each side can diagnose the problem which is a health care system with faults. However, I will never, ever, support the methodology for fixing the system that is about to be signed into law.

Bart Stupak selling his vote for some worthless executive order was disgraceful. I would have had much more respect for the man if he had said something like

a) My own party is threatening to blackball me if I don't vote Yes.


b) My district just had 700K in federal funding for airstrips approved today, so I guess I can throw Obama a bone.


c) I'm actually pro-choice when politically beneficial.

Any of those reasons would have been revelatory and I might even have believed them. Too bad.

Either way, I hope you're right Pelk. I hope the CBO is right. I just don't think they are, and I don't think it's close.

At 2:58 AM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

I also especially enjoyed Pelosi saying that this bill would foster entrepreneurship among the small businesses of America. That is a spectacular claim. I eagerly anticipate any such results.

If I sound upset, it's just as much the fact that I'm still grading midterms at 3 in the morning. Joe Mauer signing today helps.

At 3:02 AM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Finally, to clarify, and then I'll shut up, my 'socialist-lite' phrasing should be categorized as puffery, a term I learned in a Domino's commercial recently. Ergo I don't think this legislation singularly turns the USA into the USSA, but I can occasionally be a patient person.

At 5:05 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I'm glad you clarified, Parker, since things like schools, parks, roads, and AIG bailouts also point our country toward "socialist-lite."

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous K "N" P posited...


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