The debate over health care reform is not over. Even with the House vote and significant legislation approved, the merits and process will be hashed and rehashed for years, and certainly, vociferously, until November when mid-term elections decide the fate of many in Congress who went one way or the other. We haven’t heard the last of the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck but I think that when people go to the polls in November they will consider that the Democrats actually got something done in Washington. I was starting to wonder if it was possible. The nastiness and fear tactics have been so discouraging. This was an ugly process and there were many compromises. It’s not the bill President Obama or anyone really hoped for but we have reform and it’s better than defending the status quo which was leaving so many on the sidelines. At the 11th hour, with the finish line in sight, we had Republicans saying this is not the time, we should be concentrating on jobs and the economy. They are right about many other priorities in this country, but why wouldn’t we finish what we started, especially when we were so close? Why wouldn’t we push through the difficulties and get the job done? Why wouldn’t we do as Americans do and lead? It takes courage to make tough decisions. It takes balls to stare down opposition and try to do the right thing. Why would the Republicans let themselves be so marginalized while they stood on ideology? By refusing to collaborate they are standing in the way (or rather being pushed out of the way) when meaningful progress needs to be made. The health care reform that was passed was not radical and many experts believe it will be embraced by the public as they learn more about it. Hopefully the electorate will keep this in mind when it’s time for them to vote their conscience. I’m sure many Democratic legislators lost sleep over their vote but they didn’t cave in and they made important changes in a broken system that were long overdue. They voted with common sense. They pushed through the fear. We can debate the merits of the health care reform bill until we’re blue in the face and gasping for oxygen. But I’m breathing easier this morning. Finally, someone is leading in Washington.
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