Monday, March 22, 2010

Thank You, Democrats: Health Care Reform Passes, 219-212 And 220-211

By Manifesto Joe

No, it's not the bill I would have wanted. I've advocated universal single-payer for decades. But, thanks to 220 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives (first cast as 219, with 220 on a companion bill), soon I probably won't have to worry about losing my health insurance if my employer were to lay me off.

Nor will I have to worry about being turned down for any new insurance because of my pre-existing conditions. Nor will I have to worry about a dollar limit on my coverage.

As I've said before, something is better than nothing. True, there will be no public option, so the mega-insurers will continue to siphon 30 percent of premiums for "administrative costs." They certainly don't stand to lose anything from this deal. But soon, there will probably be certain ruthless things that they cannot legally do, and that represents progress.

There may be more good developments now that action on the bill has gone this far:

It's clear now that the Tea Partiers are largely racist, homophobic goons.

For those who didn't read the reports, on Saturday, a Tea Party protester in Washington spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Tea Partiers chanted the n-word repeatedly at Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. Lewis, who was brutally beaten during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, said he had not heard or seen anything like that since the bad old days. Tea Partiers also shouted "faggot" and "homo" at Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

The next day, as the House vote neared, Tea Party leaders tried to distance their "movement" from such behavior. But the general silliness couldn't all be contained. Some Tea Partiers suggested that the incidents didn't occur, were fabricated by the black congressmen, or that Democrats had placed plants in the crowds to stir people up.

It's possible that such behavior isn't representative of Tea Partiers -- but not probable. There have been a number of past incidents, such as one recent episode captured on video in which Tea Partiers taunted a man apparently suffering from Parkinson's disease, telling him, "No more handouts!" and such.

The Tea Party "movement" looks more and more like a bowel movement to me. Let's just hope that eventually our system has the plumbing to dispose of such excrement.

Kooks and thugs aren't just on the streets. Some of them are House members.

This just in from Yahoo! News:

Last night, as the clock approached midnight and the long House debate on health care reform was finally winding down, Rep. Bart Stupak stepped to the microphone on the floor of the chamber to deliver his remarks. As the famously anti-abortion congressman was denouncing a measure to kill the deal he'd struck earlier in the day for President Obama to issue an executive order reiterating that no federal funds would pay for abortions, a voice suddenly shouted "Baby killer!"

Today, after a flurry of media questions about the identity of the shouter, GOP Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer stepped forward as the offending shouter—though he stipulated he actually shouted, "It's a baby killer," in reference to the unamended health care bill, and has since apologized to Stupak for any suggestion that he personally was responsible for the killing of babies. Neugebauer's confession will help speed the episode's exit from the news cycle—particularly once President Obama signs the health care bill into law and Congress moves on to fresh controversies. But the "Baby killer furor" highlights a far more serious, long-term political dilemma for the Republicans: how to appear to be a respectable Party capable of governing while also providing political shelter for the highly motivated, though vocally disruptive, protest wing of the party associated with the Tea Party movement.

Here's the complete story.

It would appear that the childish arrogance of South Carolina's Joe "You Lie" Wilson wasn't necessarily an aberration.

Another of Texas' many GOP tantrum-throwers, Rep. Joe Barton, predicted that this bill won't last. I'm old enough to recall similar forecasts about Medicare and Medicaid from the 1960s. I'm not old enough to remember those about Social Security from the 1930s, but the Republicans of the time largely said the same kind of things.

This is just one battle, not the war. Now it's got to pass the Senate and get to Obama's desk before some psychopath shoots him. Then the Democrats are going to have to successfully run on this in the fall. If the Grand Old Putzes manage to regain control of the House and make big gains in the Senate, they may try to block funding for this bill. At least that's what former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney suggested during a recent Dallas stop on his book tour.

But, history was made Sunday night -- and the right kind of history, for a change. As ineffectual as Democrats have been over the past four decades, they've mostly been on the right side of socioeconomic issues in this country for at least a century. Wanna guess who's mostly been on the wrong side?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

1 comment:

Jack Jodell said...

Re: "Kooks and thugs...some of them are House members" - to that list I would certainly add Michele Bachmann, Virginia Foxx, Joe Wilson, and numerous others in the South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas delegations -- and there are more. Most of these idiots couldn't even pass a basic 7th grade civics test!