At last
Sunday March 21st 2010, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Politics

I know not everyone agrees with me. But oh thank goodness. At last!

And–calling Bart Stupak, of all people, the one who gathered his fellow Democrats in opposition to the bill earlier because of his anti-abortion stance, a baby killer?  Calling John Lewis, a civil-rights-era hero, truly, a hero, the N word?  Spitting on the opposition?  Republican congressmen inciting the crowd outside to a near riot from the House balcony and proclaiming, That’s kind of fun! Watching Boehner screaming Hell! NO! over and over–

Who on earth wants to be on the side of people like that?

And then Nancy Pelosi.  Whatever else you may think of her.  Calmly and surely, taking her turn at the podium, talking about the actual issue at hand: what was in the bill, what it meant to Americans, and why it was an important piece of legislation that after all the work done on it and the ways that it would benefit the American people, deserved to be passed.  The contrast!

Well, now, actually, Mr. Boehner, sir, the American majority has voted.


24 Comments so far
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Comment by Afton 03.22.10 @ 3:37 am

Yes! And my red-state congressman voted yes! I emailed him many times. Hopefully others did too. And hopefully, seeing that we can influence our congressmen, more of us will call, write, and vote. And now we know who to vote out of office next go round. Where did the phrase: WWJD, go? Jesus healed everybody, not just those who “deserved” it by working diligently in some company’s “fields.”

Comment by Judy 03.22.10 @ 4:37 am

Yes, finally. It is unbelievable that not one Republican had the guts to vote for this bill. Peer pressure and crowd mentality comes to mind.

Comment by Joansie 03.22.10 @ 5:40 am

Actually, different views are very important in our government and peer pressure and crowd mentality and mob rule come to my mind in the passing of this bill. My opinion is that the American people were ignored and belittled in this discussion. Come November, most, if not ALL incumbents need to be replaced with people who will think and stand up on their own. Another discussion we need is term limits, where does the money come for all these decisions. Steph in NH

Comment by Steph 03.22.10 @ 5:45 am

As I listened to Republicans assert over and over again that “The American people do not want this…” I kept saying over and over to myself…..”SOME Americans do not want this, but SOME Americans do……” I felt my views were totally ignored by the Republican party and I am very happy to work for and donate to campaigns for those who did represent my views.

Comment by Barbara M. 03.22.10 @ 6:02 am

I’m very pleased, too! What concerns me the most is the level of anger the opposition incited. It amazed me, too, Allison, that of all people, JOHN LEWIS was called the N word! Of all people! And Barney Frank, who stands up for the rights of all Americans was called a homophobic epithet! Is this truly the level of “civil discourse” we want encouraged from any elected official? Now, I understand the epithets were tossed around (and “spit out”, so to speak) by protesters in the halls, but, as you pointed out, they were egged on by those opposing this bill. This is not a mere exchange of views. This is inciting hate speech. That only happens when they’re out of reasonable arguments, and have to resort to name-calling. Shame on them. And congratulations to those who had the guts to pass this, despite the hate-mongering.

Comment by Pegi 03.22.10 @ 6:35 am

We have the right to expect better from our elected officials. Someone used the term “lack of decorum”–that is a really watered-down description.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 03.22.10 @ 6:44 am

Here’s my issue. If you’re against health care reform, and for ‘personal choice’ (i.e. people who don’t want to pay for insurance don’t have to have it), then you have to let the people making that choice suffer the consequences of their actions. You didn’t *want* to buy insurance? Okay, when you have a heart attack, we pull your body off the street and send it to the morgue. Right now, that ‘personal choice’ doesn’t have severe enough consequences…if you get carried into an emergency room, they will treat you. All paid for by the folks who *do* pony up their insurance premiums. Money doesn’t grow on trees. And with choice comes responsibility.

I am- or was- one of the ‘healthy young people’ who could have chosen not to buy insurance…but I didn’t. I’ve paid into the system for decades, because it’s *insurance*- if I had needed it, it would have been there (except for the few times when I was between jobs- because insurance is too expensive if you don’t have an income). And in the meantime, my insurance dollars are paying the bills for the other people who *do* need it. That’s how it’s supposed to work, and I am happy to support health care reform that brings the costs of *not* having insurance into the open and tries to address them, instead of burying them in the ever-increasing premium deductions in my paycheck. I’m happy to support them *even if it winds up costing me more money*-which it’s quite likely to do since I’m fortunate enough to make a good living.

I also think that it’s valuable to have more than one point of view in government, and I’m very sorry that there wasn’t more bipartisan participation in trying to make this a *better* bill. But I do think that something is better than nothing, and if the Democrats are the only ones trying to fix the problem, then I’ll support them.

(Sorry, Alison, I’ll get off the soapbox now.)

RobinH (in NH)

Comment by RobinH 03.22.10 @ 6:45 am

I showed a certain “lack of decorum” myself, whenever Boehner spoke–I yelled at the television!

I am SOOO happy the bill passed. Now maybe my grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) will be covered.

Comment by Abby 03.22.10 @ 7:07 am

Totally agree, Alison. The hatred shows how the GOP leadership has whipped up fear in order to obey their corporate masters who fund their elections. Truly despicable.

Comment by Renee 03.22.10 @ 8:43 am

Oh Robin, you said it so well!
I am dissappointed in the TV and radio coverage. You’d there was no one who wanted a change and that everyone liked the staus quo.
This bill helps me in several ways. It could be better, but it is a start.

Comment by kmom 03.22.10 @ 9:09 am

Congratulations – and really… it’s about time. And someone needs to tell politicians (yours and ours) that no one respects an ignorant cry-baby or name-caller. Really. Just act like the adults we assumed you were before power took over your good sense…

Comment by Sandra 03.22.10 @ 9:14 am

Ok, I’ll get my two cents worth in. As I mentioned in a previous posting, this health care bill probably doesn’t affect me, except maybe my Medicare premiums will go up. So be it. But what galls me is that while I agree that more than one point of view should be aired, the Republicans didn’t offer any alternatives, except to say NO. That is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.22.10 @ 9:42 am

Right on, sister.
And where does Boehner get that suntan, anyhow?

Comment by beth 03.22.10 @ 10:16 am

The thing that frustrated me was that the opposition speakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, kept saying, over and over, that the American people didn’t want this. Really? The vast majority of the people I’ve spoken to were in favor of healthcare reform. Are in favor. So as far as health care reform opponents are concerned, we don’t count? Really?

I’m so thankful this passed. I know we have a long row to hoe before we get to where we need to be. But as someone with one of those nasty pre-existing conditions, this is a HUGE relief.

Comment by Serena 03.22.10 @ 11:28 am

I’m still trying to figure out how civility went the way of the dodo and the blowhard with the most vicious commentary became the spokesperson for the GOP. I think I’d have better luck working out power by cold fusion; it would make more sense.

I’m glad it passed, but so much more needs to be done that I hope there is a little bit of a breather before we all have take up the political shillelaghs and wade back in. Anyone for a cup of Darjeeling?

Comment by Patricia Day 03.22.10 @ 12:04 pm

Amen!!! At long last!!!

It has been (and still is) a thorn in my “you-know-what” that John Boehner represents my state. His attitude and behavior is disgraceful, and I have let him know it. 🙁

At least we have Sharrod Brown!

Comment by Jayleen 03.22.10 @ 12:36 pm

I know I don’t hold a popular opinion here.

If this bill had been about reigning in the poor customer & client service practices of the existing insurance companies, I’d happily support it. Instead, it’s something which does not address the healthcare providers’ overhead costs (a huge portion of why standard medical bills are so high), but increases the size and scope of the IRS.

Insurers can still lose the same paperwork 3 and 4 times, and never be held accountable. Until we stop requiring service providers and patients to spend incredible effort chasing after insurance companies (Humira follow up, anyone?) to make them do what they promised in the first place, the cost and availability of healthcare won’t really be solved. How many more doctors could we afford and support if we didn’t need so damn many people in billing? If we didn’t insist on demoralizing and distracting our cargivers with the immensity of the payment battle? Every patient could be addressed with the attention they deserve.

I just can’t join in rejoicing over even more bureaucracy.

Comment by Amy 03.22.10 @ 2:42 pm

As someone who has a “pre-existing” condition, I’m relieved. Boehner, UGH.

Comment by Dee 03.22.10 @ 5:17 pm

For anyone with a pre-existing condition, it was a good day.

Comment by Momo Fali 03.22.10 @ 6:30 pm

It isn’t perfect. Some Democrats have been as hateful as some Republicans. But a leading conservative journalist, David Frum, got it right, in my opinion. Instead of working to make the bill better, the Republican political machine worked to make Obama fail. The talking heads called the Democrats Nazis who wanted to kill your grandmother, and they laid down a line across which no Republican could cross to work to incorporate measures into the bill that would address key conservative issues.

For what it’s worth, Frum says that this bill is not that out of line with conservative positions, such as those proposed by the Heritage Foundation back in the 90’s or the Mitt Romney state government. There should have been room for negotiation, but the responsible Republicans couldn’t dare try lest the talking heads go after them.

The quote that captures it best, I think, “We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.” Read the full piece at Frum’s website:

I am personally glad the measure passed, and I would have been for something even more liberal. But I am sad that our elected officials can’t work together to find the best place for our country.

Comment by twinsetellen 03.22.10 @ 7:27 pm

I think the most trenchant piece I read about the whole issue echoes David Frum. It was by E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post on Saturday or Sunday. (I read the actual hard copy and don’t know how to link to it here.) He pointed out that this bill incorporated most of the Republicans’ initiatives and ideas, more so than the Democrats’, yet the Republicans united in lockstep to defeat it, while the Democrats pushed to pass what was in essence a Republican bill. I agree with Amy above about the need to address the inflexible adversarial insurance bureaucracy, which is really at the heart of so many of our “health care” difficulties. However, since I have two young 20-somethings, both with mental health pre-existing conditions, I think this bill represents a positive first step in something for which I have been advocating since the 70’s.

Comment by shadylady1216 03.23.10 @ 9:49 am

As someone who knows her pre-existing conditions could become a major health insurance issue, I’m happy that we have SOME kind of protection now. Boehner is an embarrassment to the Buckeye State sometimes!! Well, most times…

Comment by Shirley 03.24.10 @ 2:01 pm

Funny, I sort of suspected how you you would feel about this [G]. My blue state R representative voted as expected and I will be working my butt off to see that he is not reelected n the fall. First to oppose the Farm Bill, now this. . .

What scares me is taht I have a friend who has been going through Wrkers Comp hell for the past many many months. She doesn’t see the benefit (or thinks that Workers Comp is not insurance????) and is actively and venomously opposing.

Comment by ANN 03.28.10 @ 7:52 am

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