I watched the Senate vote and history was indeed made today.

Probably the only surprising story in this vote is that all 60 Senators in the Democratic caucus voted for the bill even though passage was a foregone conclusion. There is one more major step in the process when the bills are reconciled and than the bill is exactly what it is a huge improvement over our current healthcare system. Expanding access to the healthcare system so most uninsured can now get coverage is the biggest domestic progressive priority realized in decades.

The political maneuvering and rancor will continue on both sides of the aisle. But we all certainly know unequivocally that EVERY Republican could give a shit about the uninsured’s access to healthcare in this country. Like usual the GOP will make it as difficult as possible to implement the bill for pure political reasons and do anything they can to prevent further progress. However like most domestic policies that represent progress healthcare reform will be successful because it fundamental will fix the biggest problem in our healthcare system, access.  Eventually this bill will change mindsets American mindset like Social Security and Medicare have . The healthcare reform legislation will continue to expand and progress like Social Security, Medicare and SCHIP. The functioning elements of this legislation will continue to be expanded and Americans will wonder how we once lived in a country where millions of people had ZERO access to the healthcare system, save for an ER visit that cost us all.

Make no mistakes the healthcare bill is much more a foundation for future progress than fixing all the problems in our healthcare system at once.  The bill is no doubt at the low point of it’s popularity because we have our eye on the sausage making process more than any moment in our history with 24/7 media and blatantly biased media coverage from the right, corporate MSM and even elements on the left.

Like any great story there are numerous heroes and villains born out of this process. Most of all perfect or not the Democrats have proven they can govern and drive progress in the most toxic political environment that existed in this country since the civil war. I’m purposely describing the 40,000 foot view of the healthcare bill because it cannot be changed while the details will be improved for decades to come.  More than making history the future is in the making now.

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KarateKid
Member

KQ, my debate foe and friend, while I don’t disagree that this bill is an improvement, it will be a long, long time before we see anything like what Progressives wanted. I don’t know how old you are, but I will be long gone by the time this bill actually improves.

I believe we have set a dangerous precedent, that mandates that we have to buy something from a private, for profit enterprise.

Karen Ignagni, the dire enemy of Progressives, said something very disturbing, that insurance rates will go up, especially during this five year waiting period, co-pays will go up, and our wallets would take a hit, and I believe her.

I hope we didn’t open the Pandora’s Box. What’s next, the government mandates we have to transfer our Social Security to Wall Street?

I would wait until things actually kick in and see how things to before proclaiming a historic achievement.

But one thing for sure, I will never forget the obstructionism on the part of the Republicans and will never vote (R) again.

Chernynkaya
Member

Merry Christmas KK! As you see from my post below, I am not celebrating this bill, but I am still more glad that it passed (for a variety of reasons) than I am pissed off. I am about 5 degrees happier on the fence-o-meter, if you know what I mean.

But here’s what I’ve been thinking about: I think before this stupid country changes, something terrible has to happen– like insurance rates literally impoverishing most folks. Maybe that’s what it’ll take– higher rates, more bankruptcies. And the rates WILL GO UP! The ins.cos are not going to cut their profits. Lawrence O’Donnell said the same thing on Morning Joke.

nottoolate
Member

Peace and love to all on this site!

About 5 days ago, I introduced myself here and asked why when a proposed bill is sent to the CBO it’s as if the numbers that come back are God’s word. Responders said the CBO is bipartisan and respected, even if its track record isn’t stellar.

Today I wandered into:

http://openleft.com/diary/16604/cbo-rips-the-cloak-of-impartiality-from-itself.

Interesting.

escribacat
Member

Hello, nottoolate and welcome. I read an article (can’t remember where) where the lead CBO guy admitted that the CBO figures weren’t the be-all-end-all, that predictions were just intelligent estimates.

boomer1949
Member

nottoolate,

Meaning what pray tell?

Chernynkaya
Member

Hi KQ– and thank you for posting under what must be difficult conditions for you. I hope you are regaining your strength and are on the mend.

I am glad the bill passed. It is very modest progress, which is hard to argue against. Many people desperate for help will get it. But I am not celebrating– I am just not mourning. That’s the bottom line for me.

I am no longer demoralized because this bill DOES help, and the Congress and the President accomplished something against tremendous odds, tremendous amounts of money spent to prevent anything like reform, and tremendous right-wing noise.

But I do not feel celebratory knowing that this country is so backward, so bribed and that so few are willing to do what is best for us.

It’s not a lump of coal in my Christmas stocking, but it’s not an empty stocking either.

nellie
Member

I was also encouraged to see the 60 vote passage where 51 would have sufficed. Something good is going on in the Senate, and hopefully it will continue for the vote on the final bill. It’s going to be very interesting to see where the conference committee takes this legislation, considering the squeak through on both the House and Senate sides — and the substantial differences between the two bills.

KarateKid
Member

Nellie, that’s the rub, 51 would NOT have sufficed; it would have led to its defeat.

nellie
Member

How so?

AlphaBitch
Member
AlphaBitch

Hi KQuark! You are king of the photos, dude! You even make DC look holy-ish.

Hope you are doing better. Storms headed your way (GA, isn’t it?). Hammered us here in Texas yesterday.

Stay warm, and get stronger.

choicelady
Member

Hi KQuark-

Good brief and gorgeous photo. Hope you’re feeling better and will have a lovely holiday.

One quick comment – we’ve not lost the public option yet. That may well come back in Conference Committee. I have a side by side comparison of the bills, and they each have strengths, though the House bill, overall, is better, IMHO. I heard Obama this morning (I have been up since before dawn – it still is – to see this) and heard commentators say that he is prepared, unlike “Mission Accomplished” Bush, to give the Conference Committee time to do this well.

I actually remain optimistic that the things we want will largely prevail. Our (meaning my organization and other faith groups) have one caveat – No public option? Then no individual mandate in the private market. We are unmoveable on that, since it could and would be a disaster for Americans of middling means.

I am hopeful that the Senate plan will kick in. This is to immediately create a high-risk pool to cover those with chronic or life-threatening diseases who’ve been uninsured 6 or more months. Since this includes you, I believe, it would be a major boon to you and so many others. That is something I’m urging our members to fight for in your honor (though I’m not saying that save for “someone I know” who needs this help.)

So – this major milestone is just that. There is still great amounts of work to be done, but I am quite hopeful that we will get not only reform but major reform early in 2010.

Wow. This is already historic. Let’s hope for more!

kesmarn
Admin

From your lips to God’s ear, c’lady, on the prospects of improving this bill. I was on the fence for a while, regarding the wisdom of the Senate’s passing this thing at all, especially when people I respect, like Dean and Krugman made such good points. But I think now that passing it has probably been a good thing overall. And, with you, I hope it gets better and better.

Merry Christmas!

Scheherazade
Member

Well said KQ. 🙂

That’s beautiful picture btw. Where ever did you find it?

javaz
Member

Merry Christmas to us all from the Democratic Party and Democrat Senators, and a big bah-humbug to all the selfish, greedy, Republican SOBs.

When I first read Howard Dean’s opinion of the HRC, I believed him and was against the bill.
But after reading you, KQ, and b’ito and Nellie’s positive input, I changed my mind in support.

Good morning, KQ, and hope you are feeling better today.