We All Are The Champions, My Friend.
March 22, 2010
Tonight the Congress voted to pass the Health Care Reform bill by a vote of 219 to 212. By all accounts, no matter what side of the fence you are on, this day is nothing less then historic. For some it is a day of great excitement and celebration, while for others it is a day of defeat. But regardless of how you feel about this day certain facts now remain. You or no one you know will ever again be refused health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. You or no one you know will ever again have there health insurance dropped because an illness is costing the company too much money. You or no one you know will ever have to face forty percent rate increases in premiums or have insurance payments that are larger then your mortgage. You will not lose your insurance because you lose your job. You will not have to choose between having to take a job in order to get group health insurance, or starting a small business. And to those who opposed reform, there are no death panels. You are not going to be forced to change your doctor, or change your insurance. There is no government take over of your or anybody’s health care, in fact anything even resembling a government plan or public option was removed from this bill completely. The scare tactics were just that, scare tactics. None of it was true, and for those who still believe what you were being fed by those who opposed reform, time will tell us all, because not only will those who supported reform benefit from this bill, but those who opposed it, and continue to oppose it will benefit as well.
The reason why this bill succeeded was not because the Democrats won. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, no matter how much debate we all heard over the last year on this subject, this never has been and this never will be a political issue. This bill succeeded because all along this issue of health insurance reform has been a human issue. Health care touches all of us no matter if you are Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian, male, female, young, old, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian. We all were born and we all will die. We all at one point or another in our lives need medical care, and we all know people near and dear to us who have needed or will need medical care as well. And when that happens, our political affiliations go away. We don’t care who they voted for or what they support. We just want them to get better. And the reality, that the opposition for some reason either can not grasp, or if they can, they put there political aspirations before simple human decency, is that too many people, on all sides, have gotten screwed by the current system. Too many people lost there coverage and then lost there homes. Too many people were denied coverage because they suffered from depression, or high blood pressure, or were raped, or g-d forbid were pregnant. Too many people were told that the equipment needed to keep them alive for the rest of there lives would no longer be covered. And too many of us had children, parents, husbands, wives, partners, and friends who simply died for no other reason then they could not afford the health care that would have kept them alive.
For once and for all this issue was not about Democrats or Republicans. It should never have been about who is in power and who is not. It should never have been about future political conquests because this issue was far too important to make it about ones self. This issue was personal. It was about people, not about power. President Obama recently said that he would rather be remembered as a great one term president, then a mediocre two term president. And with health care President Obama did what a leader should do. He set the example. He did not do this because it was popular. He did it because it was right. His concern was not for his political future, but for the future of everyone else.
This bill is far from perfect. It is not the end all be all, but instead a foundation for us to grow on. Just like any major legislation that has past, the future will bring changes, amendments, and improvements as need arises. We still do not have a Public Option or a Medicare buy-in. Even with 34 million more people covered we will still remain the only industrialized nation that does not ensure coverage to 100% of its citizens. And for those who say health care is not a right I say why not? Quality health care in this country has become no different then the ability to afford a Mercedes, or a home in Bel Air. Health care should not be a luxury that only the rich can afford and the poor and middle class go with out. No one should ever have to choose between there medicine and there mortgage, but unlike all other industrialized countries, in this country we do. Health care is a right not because the Constitution does or does not say so, but because as humans, how could humanity have it any other way?