Truth is often funny…
With tonight’s historic votes, Democrats may have finally pushed healthcare reform across. In the process, they might have also proven that they’re not completely stupid after all.
On this blog, I’ve argued that Democrats had no choice but to vote yes and get healthcare reform done. After all, this November they’ll be facing Republicans reminding all of America about the Democrats’ push for healthcare win or lose.
The fact is that history is written by the winners. So, as I see it Democrats had a choice, they could either run in November as the majority party who failed to pass healthcare reform, which the Republicans would have spun as a failure to impose socialism or worse on America thanks to the kindly GOP.
OR… They could go into November’s elections as the majority party who actually got something done. Sure, half the country is pissed right now. But, that won’t last. Already on the local news, I saw a woman interviewed on the street who opposed healthcare reform but now that it passed said “she hoped it would be good for the country.” That sentiment will be more and more the case as time goes by.
What people are REALLY mad at is incumbents on both sides who seem to be less and less able to get anything of real substance done. Well, wake up America. The Democrats just got substantial. They’ll now go to the polls as the party that opened up health care to 30 million people AND got rid of the whole “pre-existing conditions” thing. Not too shabby.
So, yes, there will still be people angry about this so-called “power grab” and expansion of government intrusion into our lives come November. My guess is that that group is the fringe. A very very large fringe, but a fringe none the less. And remember, you don’t have to win elections by anything more than one vote.
Now, the president needs to focus even more on jobs and the economy. Then, the Democrats can claim true momentum come November.
And the GOP? Oh yeah, they’re the ones who are fine with the government requiring us to buy auto insurance, but feel that requiring that everyone has health care coverage is a nake power grab. Nevermind that that naked power grab just opened up health care to millions and made it illegal for your insurance company to deny you coverage due to “pre-existing conditions” also known as “you might cost us too much money so we’d rather than you die as soon as possible”.
I think we’ll be talking more about that fractured logic come November.
I believe that abortion should be legal. I also believe everyone should have access to decent health care. But now, there are some abortion rights supporters in the House of Representatives who are willing to see health care reform go down the tubes if the reform legislation bans federal dollars from paying for abortions. Not making it illegal just not paying for it, mind you.
These are people who are willing to keep 30 or so million people shut out of access to healthcare unless it covers abortions.
Is abortion really the issue to get stuck on?
As I said, I believe in the right of a woman to abort her pregnancy and don’t want to see women have to resort to back alley abortionists. But, honestly why should 30 million people suffer if the federal government isn’t willing to cover what was ultimately a personal mistake made by two people that they after the fact want to undo.
I’m not judging here. Mistakes happen. I get it and I’m no saint. But, for the 30 million not covered by health insurance right now, the mistake isn’t theirs so much as a function of our broken health care system and values.
What we’ve lost both between our two major parties and EVEN WORSE within each party itself, is the art of compromise. This will never be a perfect bill. No one is going to be 100% happy with it. That’s just the fact if it stands any chance of being passed.
So, for the idiot House Democrats threatening to vote no over abortion coverage I suggest this or a lobotomy.
Why not pass the bill which benefits all of us ultimately by giving 30 million access and getting rid of pre-existing condition bans now and continue the debate of abortion coverage after health care reform is enacted?
After all, something is better than nothing here and it’s always easier to tweak something once it’s law than starting all over. Anyone for another year of health care debate? Nah? Didn’t think so.
A lot of Democrats are nervous about their election prospects in November should health care reform become law. The political truth is that it’s a lot easier to go before the voters as a winner versus a “politician who tried to engineer a government takeover of healthcare but lost“, which will be the Republican spin.
If on the other hand Democrats go to the polls as winners in the health care battle, the Republicans will have to take a moment to explain how they fought against eliminating pre-existing condition bans. Good luck on that one, GOP!
When Barak Obama was elected he talked a lot about bringing people together. We assumed he was talking about Democrats & Republicans.
The reality now is that he must unite Democrats. He must turn them into winner even if the victory isn’t perfect. And even the ones who are idiots and are willing to squander the opportunity to achieve something of historic benefit in the name of a objections based on a narrow interest group.
Let common sense and compromise prevail!
OK, so clearly I’m a bit cranky today.
Stupid seems to be on my mind, having just pointed out Ohio Republican John Boehner’s ignorance, I feel compelled to highlight the shortcomings of his opponents in Congress.
Maybe the reason I’m cranky is that I spent some time earlier today reading reaction to this week’s election results. Some pundits and a number of (stupid) Democrats have made the case that Democrats should run for the hills.
The theory goes that two Republican wins in Governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey show that the public is unsure about President Obama’s agenda. Of course, it shows nothing of the kind.
First off, why the focus on these two races.? Didn’t any of them read about the race for the Rep seat for New York’s 23rd District? In can you didn’t, in that one, a super conservative forced out the Republican’s nominee only to be trounced by off all things the Democrat in the race. And this was in a very conservative district! So essentially in a lay up situation, the GOP clanged it off the rim. So, why no stories about the end of conservatives?
Getting back to the governor’s races, it’s fair to ask if Obama can take any hint from the results. There’s a saying that all politics are local and some pundits and Democrats are saying that people were voting on local issues in VA and NJ and not on the President’s agenda.
I know people in NJ. Many. And I can tell you that Corzine could have been a Republican or Independent and still lost. NJ simply didn’t like John Corzine. Whether bad timing or simply bad performance, Garden Staters simply didn’t see many accomplishments. People in NJ voted against a sitting governor who could not lower the nation’s HIGHEST property taxes and who’s party has a fantastic track record of corruption. Many of the people I know in NJ voted against Corzine and still support the President.
As for Virginia, from everything I’ve read the Democrat there simply ran an awful race while his Republican opponent ran a smart race focused on the issues people care most about. But, bottom line is that despite Democrat’s significant gains there, is it really a surprise when Virginia goes to the GOP??
So back to stupid Democrats… I read earlier today that this week’s election losses suggested a change in tactics. They felt they should perhaps not be so on board the Obama bandwagon.
Nothing could be stupider.
Hear me now, Democrats. The people voted you in for change. And that’s what you need to deliver. The answer is not backing down, but standing up for what you believe in and delivering on the promises you made to your constituents.
I belive John Warner made a very fair point that the climate change bill (as well-intentioned as it may be) might not be the very best use of Congresses’ time when people are struggling to keep their houses, jobs and lives.
So, if Democrats must change tactics, then follow that line of thinking. Make changes, but make them about what matters most to Americans right now, pocketbook issues. Work to create jobs and opportunities.
I believe healthcare reform is a big part of that. It’s time for Democrats to be bold, get it passed on move on to tackling other big issues that will affect the quality of all our lives.
Better to have an imperfect victory or two to bring to voters in 2010’s midterm elections than the same old same old.
Question: Are healthcare protesters just stupid?
But,one of their leaders is clearly ignorant of history.
Seriously, on the day that the President announces that both AARP which looks after the interests of our seniors and the AMA, which looks out for doctors, are both supporting the healthcare reform bill currently set for a vote in the House of Reps, they decide to protest. But not only protest, which is their right, but to protest stupidly. That, is their right too, but it’s also an incredible waste of our time.
House Republican leader John Boehner was quoted as saying “this bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen”.
Hmmmmm…. So giving greater access to healthcare to millions of people is a threat to freedom? Not letting insurance companies drop you just cause you got sick and inconvenience their bottom line is a threat to freedom?
That’s news to me.
Let’s say that Boehner is part right and that the bill is a threat to freedom. How can he say with a straight face that it’s the greatest threat ever to our freedom?
Has the man heard of World War II? What about the Cold War? Even 9-11 has to rank above this in terms of a potential of changing the freedom we enjoy. Not to mention disco music….
Clearly, Boehner and his ilk are off base. The healthcare reforms under consideration right now must be passed. More people will be covered. The neutral Congressional Budget Office confirms the plan will reduce deficits and in case you’re scared of a public option, according to the CBO few people will take advantage of that offering. So that threat of a government takeover. Not happening. At least not for a long while.
The funny thing about this all is that once the reform bill is passed, it will be just like Social Security or Medicare. The very people who are protesting against it will refuse to ever consider having it taken away.
Mark my words.
Despite his best intentions, South Carolina’s Rep. Joe Wilson is going to go down as a health care reform hero. The American public is a lot of things. We’re easily manipulated on health care reform or for that matter practically any new social programs.
Ironically, once we have a social program in place like say social security, the American public will fight like hell to make sure it doesn’t get taken away. So, yes, we do flip flop, especially when we see the benefit that our admittedly imperfect government can make in our lives.
What the American public does not flip flop on is rudeness toward the president of the United States. Sure, there are some who will see Joe Wilson as a hero for echoing what they feel, whether what he said was true or not. And for the record it was NOT.
But, for the overwhelming amount of Americans, there’s a time and a place to heckle an American president. During an address to Congress while you’re actually a member of Congress, is NOT one of those times.
Joe Wilson is learning that the hard way. He also fumbled away the political football and with it very precious momentum.
Coming into his speech last night, President Obama was the man under pressure. There’s no putting a good face on the ugliness of August. Clearly, the drive for health care, upon which Obama has placed so much of the future of his administration lost steam.
But, last night the game changed. The president gave a convincing performance and got a big assistant from Joe Wilson on two fronts. First, Wilson’s boorish behavior swung public sympathy toward the president. We simply don’t want our leader treated that way.
Second, Wilson’s fellow conservatives (who should give him a severe beat down politically) were forced all day to answer questions about Joe Wilson. That, of course, saps their momentum. Every second conservatives in congress have to answer Joe Wilson questions is a second they can’t be spreading the fear and falsehoods upon which reform opposition is based.
Further, in the president’s speech and the administration’s comments since it was clearly signaled that the public option many people have been worried about is not a “must have”.
So let’s review…
Obama was calm. Rational. He adopted a John McCain idea. He is also willing to go without a public option. All while his party has majorities in both houses. He even accepted Wilson’s apology gracefully saying we all make mistakes. Finally, as if on cue, stats came out today that reported the number of people with out health insurance increased AGAIN this past year. President Obama has clearly regained some momentum and is looking like the bigger (perhaps slightly) bi-partisan man.
Joe Wilson lost his cool. Joe Wilson spent the day apologizing as did his cronies.
Joe Wilson made a big mistake. And now it’s going to cost him politically. Health care reform is that much closer to a reality.
And it’s thanks to Joe Wilson’s inability to stop behaving like a jackass. I knew that’d come in useful some day!
Suck It, Health Reform Opponents! Concrete Proof Big Government Can Work! And It Comes From One Of Your Own!2 Sep
There are few thinking people that won’t cop to the fact that the health care system in this country has some big problems. Costs keep going up. Many are uninsured and our outcomes keep getting worse.
I know we Americans love to think of ourselves as number one. And in many areas, we are. The cold hard truth is that in health care we can’t make that claim. Yes, we’ve got some of the best doctors in the world, but despite that we still come up short in many categories.
By now, we’ve all heard the panic about the government taking over health care. On top of that, we’ve been told/brainwashed for the last three decades by conservatives that government can never EVER work. This, despite the fact that conservatives have often been in power at the head of our government during the last three decades. Talk about a hypocritcal message!
When Barack Obama started pressing for health care reform, it looked like it might come about easier than expected. That, of course, was never to be the case. Conservatives are back to their usual scare tactics and Americans seemingly spent the summer falling for them.
Only, it turns out that, they’re wrong. Not only are they off the mark, but it’s a conservative president’s actions that prove conservative dogma wrong-headed. Government intervention can work and is sometimes in fact needed.
When George W. Bush started bailing out banks left and right this past fall, he had many critics. Bush was going against the conservative ideals he’s preached and actually used the government in a very activist way to try and save our financial system. (Snarky aside – after all, for conservatives the health of our banks is way more important than our population’s health)
Many questioned whether the US tax payer would ever see the money handed over to banks again.
Yesterday, came news that to date the bank bailouts have netted about 4 BILLION DOLLARS profit so far. Something like eight truly big banks have totally repaid their bailouts and another 14 or so smaller banks have too, which adds another 35 MILLION DOLLARS in profits for you and me to the previously mentioned 4 BILLION DOLLARS. Not a bad return for Joe & Jane Taxpayer and all while suring up our financial system.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a link to a newspaper article with all the details:
Here’s the point.,. Don’t believe that government intervention is never warranted or can never work. After all, the government won World War II, put a man on the Moon, has kept social security a float for years, and on and on.
Yes, the government also has the ability to squander ga-gillions. 87 Dollar hammer anyone?? And please! Keep Senator Byrd away from any chance to name yet another building in West Virginia after himself…
But, Summer is ending. It’s take to wake up and really think through the issues related to health care. I’m not sure what all the solutions are. I do think there may be places where the private sector can do it better than the government.
But, there’s no debating that MILLIONS of people are uninsured. And those of us who are lucky enough to have insurance are more worried about losing that than even losing our jobs.
We can no longer fall easy prey to scare tactics. Americans can do anything, including reform health care.
This is the moment. For all our common good, don’t be fooled by the very same people who opposed social security. Can you imagine America without social security today?
If we think this through together, if we don’t fall victim to scare tactics, someday our children will feel the same way about universal health care.