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The passage of health reform in the United States on March 21st, 2010 is one of the most historic pieces of legislature we will see in our lifetime. Speaker Pelosi and President Obama have done what many thought was impossible and over 32 million Americans without healthcare will now have access to the same policy that our congress enjoys.
We had a friend of ours in town for the weekend and went to breakfast at this great little place down the road from our house. We ended up talking quite a bit about what was about to occur later in the day with regards to this healthcare legislation and it was quite interesting to hear what she had to say. Her husband is a radiologist and although he agreed that we needed serious reform in this country, he was concerned that the hospital he worked for would lose quite a bit of money due to this bill and thus it could potentially hurt his bottom line. This is certainly not to say anything negative about our friend's stance on the issue, especially since it personally affected he and his family. Everyone is affected in a different way and we all need to respect everyone's opinions and feelings. I just thought it was interesting to hear the doctor's perspective.
Although I think most of us would agree that we aren't losing any sleep over the big insurance companies losing money, no one wants to to see their friends, loved ones, doctors, etc. lose their income. That being said, our Doctors make quite a bit of money and I would have a very hard time telling a sick child that they are going to die because they don't have health insurance, just so the status quo can remain the same. Something's got to give, and for the betterment of society, and the wellness of the American people, I would rather our doctors take a bit less in salary if it saves lives and provides better quality of life for the American public. I'm have a feeling the doctors will still be alright.
I spent most of the day watching this all unfold on CSPAN. It was both incredible and disgusting to listen to the Republicans spewing out the same lies and fear-mongering that has been going on throughout this past year (and for decades prior to this debate). Every unanimous consent request the Republicans made was word for word identical to the last. I had actually memorized it about an hour in. You'd at least think they would want to be original when they rise in opposition, but no, they all rose "in opposition of this flawed health care bill". It was almost as if they were given notecards. On and on the debate continued until finally John Boehner took the podium and started screaming at the Democrats, even accusing them of not reading the bill. Appalling.
What struck me as even more unbelievable was that quite a few of the Republicans who spoke mentioned "back door deals", referencing things such as the Cornhusker policy. This was one of the main things in the reconciliation portion of last night's agenda that was to be removed. Did the Republicans vote for the amendments that they were arguing for even after the main bill had passed? Nope. Not a single Republican voted in favor of anything that occurred last night. Very disheartening, because you know that there were probably a few Republicans in attendance that were thinking to themselves that this might be the right thing for this country, but in order to secure their re-election funding and their position in the GOP they voted against reform.
Over 200 Republican amendments were included in the bill that passed last night but I think at this point everyone needs to reconcile themselves to the fact that no matter what they do to engage in bi-partisanship, "The Party of NO" will hold true to that sentiment.
Let's forget about the Republicans and concentrate instead of the millions of Americans who will have a better life because of this bill. Let's be selfish for a moment and think about ourselves, our family, our friends and our neighbors who have health insurance and will now enjoy a stringent bill of rights that will finally give us all some piece of mind when and if we ever have the misfortune of becoming ill.
Congratulations Mr. President and Ms. Speaker. You really pulled it off and we thank you.
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