Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Obama Signs Health Care Bill, I'm with Gibbs on Biden, Time for the GOP to Grow Up

Obama Signs Health Care Legislation
Today was truly an historic day, as the President signed into law H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In what may well be the biggest day of the Obama Presidency, the President finally got his health care bill.

Let's not oversell it - as I've said before, this is not the biggest new social program since Medicare, that honor belongs to George W. Bush's drug benefit for seniors. It certainly isn't the biggest expansion of government in our lifetimes, that honor would surely belong to the start of the Iraq war. It isn't the biggest new bureaucracy in decades, that honor belongs to the Department of Homeland Security.

But, it is, as Vice President Joe Biden so uncomfortable said, "a f***ing big deal". It's a big deal because it will dramatically increase access to health care for 32 million Americans. It is a big deal because it will end the job paralysis caused by pre-existing condition exclusions and the fear that the loss of a job causes to those with medical problems. And it's a big deal because it fulfills the moral obligation of a wealthy nation to care for its people.

It doesn't do enough, or even much, on cost control. It's provisions to require insurance are weak. There is no public option. It doesn't abandon the flawed employer-provided model. It doesn't address the anti-U.S. pricing practices of the drug industry. There is a lot that I would like it to do that it does not. But it is a big deal. A f***ing big deal.

Gibbs Plays it Right
The only comment on our gaffe-prone Vice President's latest on mic gaffe? Robert Gibbs tweets "yes, Mr. Vice President, you are right" and the White House refers all questions to that tweet. Couldn't agree more.

Grow Up, GOP
There are lots of legitimate reasons to disagree with the Democratic approach on health care. If you are a true believer in the power of markets, a small government person, a true libertarian, a fiscal conservative, what have you, then this bill will not appeal to you. The GOP had ever right to vote against a bill that runs against their principles. You made your points, emphatically. You lost because you lost the November 2008 elections and badly. You lost because the people didn't give you the power to stop this bill, whether they presently like the bill or not.

Now is the time to grow up.

The health care bill is law. It is flawed. You've been quick to point out some of the more ugly flaws...the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, etc. Now, out of spite, you are going to stand in the way of repealing those same things of which you were so intently critical? What I'm watching right now on the Senate floor is a bad joke. It is pure sour grapes from the GOP. There is very little credible argument that the reconciliation bill makes the health care law, and it is now a law, worse. Yet the GOP obstructs. To what end? So that we can keep the Senate bill that they panned? John McCain has taken to the press saying the GOP won't cooperate with the Democrats on ANYTHING this year, regardless of if they agree ideologically. How childish.

I said several months ago, concerned about runaway deficits, that if I did not see a credible deficit reduction plan out of the White House prior to November that I would strongly consider voting Republican to check government spending. The GOP is trying their best to take that option off the table for me. The people deserve better.

Speak out against the bill you opposed, absolutely. Campaign against Democrats who voted for it, that's completely a fair debate. Campaign on repealing it? Sure. But blocking the improvements that YOU sought? Openly obstructing things you agree with? And don't start with...back in 200x, Democrats wouldn't play ball with George Bush on xxxx...the two wrongs make a right argument is rotten to the core.

Get over it.

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1 comment:

Preston said...


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