The Health Care Vote On Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and I'm up early. Or rather, I actually haven't been to bed yet. (Thanks, Insomnia!)

I'm watching the Senate vote on health care legislation. Good grief, how many months has this back and forth on health care gone on? It's been dragged out so much that Harry Reid just said, "No" when he was asked to vote. The parliamentarian gave him the chance to correct his vote to, "Yes," but I don't blame the man. I'm confused, too!

What is he voting "yes" on? What version is this? As much as I'd like to keep myself informed, I admit I stopped keeping up with much of drama around this a month ago. I'm sure that was the point - get Americans so sick of the bickering we're just happy these folks are holding a vote so they can shut up and quit getting on TV arguing over this.

I know this is historic. I know it's a start. That more people will get care than before if this passes the House. But I suppose since I strongly believe in a single payer system and as of now we're not even getting a public option, I can't help but feel like this is a missed opportunity.

Should I be celebrating? I don't know. Sometimes a start isn't enough. Just think how folks must've told black people back in the day, "No, you can't vote and you have to go to segregated schools, but at least you're not a slave anymore. That's a start!" Sigh. I hate myself for writing that because I don't like comparing any issue to what black people have gone through in this country but you know what I mean.

How sad that there's been so much enmity and vituperative wrangling over the possibility that everybody might be able to go to a doctor and be healthy.

Imagine what would've happened if the national discussion on this issue among our elected leaders had been a real consultative process? If our elected leaders had been true to moral principles instead of driven by divisive ideology and political spin... If instead of worrying about re-election and the talking points in their inboxes, they'd actually thought about what's right for people instead of corporations.

But, it's almost Christmas so I'm going to be happy that it seems that more people will get coverage than before. Let's hope it's the first of many steps forward. Let's hope that decades don't have to pass before folks finally "get" that health care is a right, not a privilege.


I am going to use this phrase on my kids: "You two stop that vituperative wrangling or Santa will skip this house tonight!!"

Great word, that "vituperative"!

I completely agree with you. But then again I was thinking just the other day, what would happen if all the resources, time & energy that went into getting the snow out of the Eagles stadium in time for the game last Sunday was spent on a few of the Phila. high schools instead? What if kid's education were more important than watching football?

I have to give Obama credit for working with what we've got and getting more folks health care. Especially more kids...
Miss Leliel said…
I certainly understand and agree that what we got could have been better. People should have been less stupid, ignorant and just plain greedy. However, I think there is still significant value in this bill.. A lot of places aren't mentioning the insurance regulation that is part of this bill. I want more people covered ( I know the sting of being too broke for insurance but too "rich" for govt assistance) but I want those ass hole companies regulated.

There are processes to restore the keystones we lost later, and I hope those routes are pursued. I know you hate to say "it's a start" but really, I don't think it's realistic to expect massive change overnight, sadly even when we're trying to do what's right. People hate change.
Anonymous said…
But, as you say, it's a start and may it lead to more.

Merry, merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.
Tracy said…
This is the best bill possible. According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, there are a total of five votes in the Senate for single payer. There are only 5 senators in this country willing to vote for single payer. We, as a nation, are nowhere near ready to have a truly universal health care system. Not even close. This was as good as it could get and I applaud the president and the people who actually voted for it and folks like me who made phone calls and went door to door with petitions. Yes, I feel like I am a part of this so "Go, Tracy!"!

As far Black people, do you know that we weren't included in Social Security when FDR passed that? The country was not ready to recognize us. FDR needed Southern legislators and he could not get them on board without excluding black people from benefiting from Social Security. SS didn't even include the disabled! Was it messed up, yes, but FDR was right to make the compromises instead of being an unrealistic stubborn mule and not passing that landmark legislation. What would our country be like today if he cowered to his era's far left and "killed the bill" simply because they couldn't get everything that they wanted when they wanted it. We'd be in a totally different country right now. They passed the bill and improved it over time. The same thing will happen here. As soon as it goes to conference, it will improve. One of the very first things they're gonna try to do is have certain parts kick in immediately or as soon as possible. And who knows what they'll do next year and the year after that and in the decades to come.

I just think people need to get real and realize that the legislation process is ugly and you do have to make compromises.

All I know is that the kill the bill lefty crowd pisses me the "F" off. I am one of those 30 million people who will benefit from this bill. I don't have insurance because I can't get it because I have fibroid tumors. I am one of the 30 million who will be able to get the subsidies. So this affects real people in a positive way, but according to some on the left, it's more important to kill this bill since it isn't their single payer pipe dream or because it doesn't include a public option? Please. All I know is that I'll finally be able to actually get insurance and get it subsidized so I won't be paying an arm and a leg.

But that kind of complaining is why the left are perpetual political losers. Let's throw the baby out with the bathwater. Yeah, forget about helping 30 million Americans and let's focus on tearing down the insurance companies instead. Ugh.

I don't mean to go off but this disappointment about the bill from the left is just absurd to me. It's like they are still on a college campus and not in the real world. They're so darn earnest and so busy shouting about political purity and ideals that they forget about actual people. The reason Obama broke through during the election is because he was a lefty who actually remembered the people. And that's why he's just passed the most significant piece of legislation since Medicare.
I am definitely disappointed in the bill. I felt very, very strongly about the public option. I know this is still a vast improvement, but philosophically I think the public option was a huge part of the solution. It's kind of like getting your hopes up about a fancy dinner and then getting a happy meal instead. Sure, that happy meal is better than nothing, but . . . it ain't the same thing. Today's vote felt very anticlimactic for me, too.
Liz Dwyer said…
Andromeda Jazmon,
I have had PLENTY of opportunity to use that phrase on my boys today. They looked at me like I was NUTS! Good point about the time and energy spent to clear out the stadium. Our priorities can sometimes be so skewed.

I give Obama a LOT of credit. To get even this much done in that den of snakes called Congress is a good thing.

I know that sting too and it sucks bigtime. I think the regulatory stuff in it is long overdue and I hope it'll be enforced properly. People do hate change - I always suffer from Now Disease - I want it now. I want change now. But I get it, changing mindsets doesn't happen overnight.

Thank you for the lovely Christmas wishes! I hope all this will lead to more reform, not to more bickering. But I have a feeling more bickering is right around the corner.

Glad you'll be covered under this. Having freelanced I know what it's like to have no insurance and to hope you don't get hit by a bus. I wonder why more people aren't ready for universal health care. We don't walk the talk - we say we're a land of freedom and opportunity and human rights but then we can only get 5 senators to vote for single payer? That's a mismatch of values to me. Interesting about Social Security- I didn't know that but I'm not surprised.

I don't keep up too much with the far left talking points - or with the ideology of any one side. I think folks from all perspectives can add something to the debate, but there's too much prejudice/bias clouding people's thinking these days and that's sad, especially when everyone wants to still claim the "postracial" tag! But I don't think holding onto an ideal is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I saw a lot of compromises being made by one side and and it just seemed like the other side was just being spiteful and determined to have no change at all. That was sad to see.

LOL! It is a little like the happy meal thing! I didn't think we were going to turn into Canada or Switzerland overnight but I'm sad to see some of the measures that have been stripped out of this version of the bill. Maybe my bar was set too high. I dunno. :)
Tracy said…
IMO, Americans aren't ready for true universal health care because it's socialist,and in America, that's a bad thing. But you can tell the same people that the fire department and the police department are socialist programs as well, but they don't wanna hear it. Oh, and universal health care is a European thing and Europeans are evil, immoral, and hate freedom.

I think we're the last industrialized western nation without universal health care because we're fundamentally a racist country. I saw polls just this year that said most people of color were in favor of single payer than were against. It was the exact opposite for white Americans. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that.
nick said…
There seems to be an awful lot of compromises in the legislation, but as you say at least it's a step forward and hopefully there'll be more legislation in the future to take things further.

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