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Obamacare: Yes, we did.

22 March 2010

Congratulations, America.  After half a century and, potentially, billions of man-hours; We have passed healthcare reform and heard the collective voice of our Democratic Representatives chanting “Yes we can!”  Granted, at the moment the reform isn’t perfect.  The senate bill, which now only awaits the President’s signature to become law, has some serious flaws.  However, even with those flaws foremost in one’s mind, this is the most significant leap forward in providing the promise of healthcare to all Americans that has ever been made.

The Senate bill, H.R. 3590 or “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” was a product of Republican demands for compromise from Democrats.  They stripped away the “public option” and other aspects of the bill for the benefit of gaining bi-partisan support.  After the bill passed the Senate last December, surprisingly it gained no Republican votes.  As a result, the Senate bill has remained far from perfect but despite it’s imperfections the bill puts a stop to pre-existing condition denials, the termination of benefits when illness occurs, allows individuals to keep their health insurance after losing a job or while between jobs, and allows families to keep their children on their family insurance plan until the child is 26 years old.  These items alone are a large step in the right direction.

Even tonight, as the House of Representatives conducted a vote on legislation that would enable 32 million Americans to get private health insurance, every Republican voted ‘Nay.’  One can’t help but infer that Republicans have no interest in people remaining healthy.  They seem far more interested in maintaining the facade they’ve worked so hard for over the last 2 years; That Obama is a Nazi-socialist-Marxist-Jihadist-Muslim who wants to kill you and your grand mother.

Certainly the Senate bill, in it’s current form, is not perfect.  In fact, it has some major flaws.  Those flaws do not, however, out-weigh the benefits.  It is for that reason that law makers voted H.R. 3590 into law based on assurances from the Senate that it would in turn pass H.R. 4872, a bill of reconciliation which makes many amendments to the aforementioned Senate bill.

Unfortunately, only time will tell if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has the 52 votes needed to pass the amendments.  Estimates coming in today suggest the Senate has 59 votes.  A good sign.  If it does, this historic piece of legislation will become even more-so.  If it doesn’t, there will no doubt be many attempts thereafter to amend the law.  We will know for certain this upcoming Tuesday.

On a personal note, this feels incredible.  If you have ever emailed your representative on this subject, asked your friend to write or call, volunteered for one of the thousands of organizations which worked toward this end for decades; You are who should be thanked.  This legislation will allow a few people close to me to get the medical treatment they need and in-so-doing, possibly save their lives.  This legislation will enable me to have health insurance for the first time in almost 10 years.  For that, I thank you.

Congratulations, America.

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6 Comments
  1. 22 March 2010 1233

    I’m not ready to celebrate a bill that, as you say, has “serious flaws”. What exactly was the conflict that prevented Democrats from talking with Republicans AND the public and forming a BIPARTISAN bill?

    Congratulations, America. You’ve been duped.

    • 22 March 2010 1239

      Anyone who understands the legislative process would vote for this bill.
      If you’d read the rest of the blog or turned on a TV you’d read or hear that the amendments make this bill pretty close to excellent and they are pretty certain to pass.
      When you ask “What exactly was the conflict…?” I’m assuming its a rhetorical question. I suspect we both understand that this instance doesn’t exist in a vacuum, that many factors played a role and attempting to name any one would do a disservice to both of our arguments.

  2. 22 March 2010 1235

    No, dear the congradulations is for any idiot who wanted to see it passed and anyone who had their fingers in it. Our Government and our elected officials haven’t seen what the American People can do when we ban together….And Honey….we are going to!!! The old saying goes…”You haven’t seen anything yet”. The Federal Government is not going to get another nickel out of me. I am telling my Senators and Representives come Monday morning that I am refusing to get their Health care…….it will cost them a hell of alot more to house me, feed me, ect. to jail me!!!

    • 22 March 2010 1241

      That’s up to you. If you want to spend years in prison because you want to oppose an entirely legal legislative process and a product of that process which will save lives while saving money, that’s your call – by all means.

  3. Frankie permalink
    22 March 2010 1252

    Now i may have missed this, joe, but how soon from when the president signs it into law does it go into effect? Immediatly or later? Im sure, like most people, i just want to know how soon we will see these changes 🙂

    great night indeed 🙂

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