We’ve Done It! First Health Care Reform since Teddy Roosevelt.

Via elephant journal
on Dec 21, 2009
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Quite a Holyday Present—Health Care Reform passes Senate on Christmas Eve.

30 million Americans say thank you for this essential help—even if it’s an imperfect bill, it’s real progress. 50 million other Americans say “let them eat cake, health care ain’t a right!” Well, it’s better to be kind than…right.

We’ve done it! It’s an imperfect bill, but 30 million more Americans will get healthcare. You know you’ve done something right when both the progressives want more and hate the bill and the conservatives want less and hate the bill.

We’ve blogged about health care for months. Nothing could be more important—well, almost nothing—but (judging by the few clicks our blogs get on the subject, far fewer than anything with sex or nudity in the title!) this has been one issue liberals have largely abandoned Obama on, out of boredom or not-getting-it—and we wonder why we lost the public option, or funding for abortions…if Obama had been able to get it done by August, his goal, when his popularity was high…his popularity (and therefore political strength) would still be strong, and the legislation would have been far stronger, too.

This one’s for compassion. This one’s for the kind of America that believe in generosity, not stinginess. This one’s for you, Teddy!


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5 Responses to “We’ve Done It! First Health Care Reform since Teddy Roosevelt.”

  1. Via Moveon, a way to take action to make sure bill takes on some of better House aspects:
    Can you call Rep. Polis right now? Tell him that you're counting on him to fight for the real reform that the House passed—including the public option—when the Senate and House health care bills are merged.

    Representative Jared Polis
    Phone: 202-225-2161

    Report your call

    Dear MoveOn member,
    At one o'clock this morning, the Senate health care bill cleared its last big hurdle, putting it on track to pass on Thursday.

    Unfortunately, the Senate bill was badly weakened by conservatives. It doesn't have a public option, doesn't do enough to make insurance affordable, and doesn't create real competition for insurance companies.

    The House bill is much better. So as the two bills get merged, we need House Democrats to insist that the best pieces of the House bill are included.

    Can you call Rep. Polis right now and ask him to demand that the key elements of real reform—including a public option—are in the final bill before the House and Senate vote on it?

    Representative Jared Polis
    Phone: 202-225-2161
    Then, please report your call by clicking here:


    The House health care bill included vital provisions that were dropped in the Senate. Unlike the Senate bill, it has a public option to keep insurance companies honest. It does more to make health insurance affordable for the lowest income Americans. And it pays for these reforms with a small surtax on the wealthiest Americans. (The Senate bill taxes many middle class families' insurance benefits instead.)
    All these differences will be worked out between House and Senate leaders and the White House during the "conference" process.

    We've already seen that progressives can exercise real leverage when they make it clear that their votes can't be taken for granted. Senator Bernie Sanders just won billions of dollars in extra support for community health clinics in the final hours of negotiation in the Senate. But House Democrats will be under intense pressure to give in to the demands of conservative senators who are threatening to hold the process hostage again.

    So we need Democrats in the House to insist on real improvements before agreeing to vote for the final bill.

    Can you call Rep. Polis right now and tell him you want him to fight for the public option, for making insurance more affordable, and for other progressive priorities in conference?

    Representative Jared Polis
    Phone: 202-225-2161
    Then, please report your call by clicking here:


    Thanks for all you do.

    –Kat, Ilyse, Daniel, Lenore, and the rest of the team

  2. Via mom: Bravo! The USA is really beginning to turn around under Obama! I was horrified when Palen ran, thinking, oh my gosh, the Republicans actually found a candidate who could be worse than Bush! Whew! This is so refreshing. And Ted Kennedy must be smiling in the bardo!

  3. via FB: Steve Fenberg posted his status as "60" (as in votes). The following ensued:

    unlike button please, way for the Obama and the Dems to bow down to the Insurance industry. Hopefully the House shows more spine and puts some of the actual 'Progressive' amendments back in. Christ. Obama's a disappointment on this one…

    Stephen Fenberg
    Agreed that it's not a great bill. But try telling that to the people who will die next year due to lack of accessible health care. The bill extends coverage to over 30 million Americans. Last I checked that was the goal. We can't forget that people's actual lives hang in the balance here.

    problem is, "extending" coverage comes at the cost of no Medicare buy in, no real public option, caving in to jag offs like Lieberman , Ben Nelson, Stupack and others, forcing people to get medical insurance even if they can't afford it without real guarantees of financial help for those same people, restrictions on women's reproductive choices and… See More rights and a slew of other problems. Extending coverage should not be done at any cost. That is NOT the only goal. I'm not convinced until the House starts flexing it's muscle in the negotiations. Oh and when the insurance industry sends emails amongst themselves saying "We win…" that's always a bad sign.

    i'm holding out hope for the house and senate bills to reconcile and re-introduce the public option.

    Waylon Lewis
    I didn't say it quite so concisely, but http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/12/weve-done-

    that elephant journal piece is NOT impressive. I would be championing it too if it was worth championing. Agree with Pedron who agree with me, all depends on the conference committee between House and Senate and what actually comes out, until then, not impressed.

    Waylon Lewis
    Amen. But we have 60. It's a moment worth celebrating. Thanks and sorry I couldn't impress you, we'll keep trying to do better.

    unfortunately the majority of this bill belongs in the trash! It is a pure gift to the insurance industry, does not improve health care (you can't be turned down for a pre-existing condition, but you can be charged 800% for your premium), you can be fined if you don't pay your local insurance company . . .where exactly is the "reform?"

    If this … See Morebill passes, we will be stuck with decades more of no real health care system, people will continue to die for lack of care, and we'll all pay billions more in taxes to support Big Insurance and Big Pharma. Moreover, the bill is so complex, that I guarantee years of litigation over every paragraph.

    There is only a single legitimate answer – restructure Medicare, and let's have Medicare for all.

    Waylon Lewis
    No one's arguing that you're not right—but we're in a Democracy, where 50% of everyone disagrees with us. Thus, compromise. Thus, no one's happy. Still, this moves the ball down the field in a good direction. And…though you're right on everything, how would you get it done? Obama tried to get a better bill through this Summer, no one backed him up.

    Actually, Obama didn't. He punted when he should have been carrying the ball down the field himself. He let the corrupt Senate and the not as corrupt House put together weak bills(though the House bill is MUCH better) instead of laying it out clearly what he wanted and would not compromise on AND he allowed the game to begin with liberals, … See Moreprogressives and the American people backed up to their own 5 yard line when he didn't start from the ideal start of the argument with single payer but instead with the weak idea of a public option. And if he had really tried he would have put the damn Dems on notice for once like Republican leaders and told them to toe the line for once or get out of the way. And never once did he or other Dem leaders have the spine to put Reconciliation on the table.

    Waylon Lewis
    All true, I guess…should have elected you!

    lol..nope, don't want the job. 😉 and I hate to just badger away at Obama and the healthcare bill, I do HOPE something good comes out of committee, I do…

    Progress is never immediate. When Social Security and Medicare passed both houses they were both originally pretty naked… SS even excluded black people. The thing is we need something to start with. If this bill doesn't pass no one will touch healthcare again for 15 years. It's a start and thank God it's passing.

    I thought this was a good one:

  4. […] passed away some short while ago. At stake—now—is his Senate seat, where Health Care stands to pass because the Democrats have a fool-proof 60 vote majority. But lose even one seat—this seat—and […]

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