Monday, March 22, 2010

Who Said Change Was Going To Be Easy

Health insurance reform passed.  At least some form of it.  Here's a decent synopsis of what's in the bill.  It's not what ultra-liberals wanted, a single-payer, run by the government, health insurance option available to all people regardless of income level.  It's definitely not what conservatives wanted, which was to maintain the status quo in which 30+ million Americans were without healthcare. 

Remember, conservatives have been against every major piece of progressive, "liberal" legislation in the last one hundred years including, but, not limited to, labor laws (including mandatory maximum work weeks, establishment of a minimum wage and every increase since then for example), social security, disability, medicare, medicaid.  I'm sure there's more but, that's all that I can think of off the top of my head.  Tea partiers must be besides themselves.  And will Limbaugh really leave the country now?

Obama ran on change and this legislation is certainly that.  Health insurance legislation was one the cornerstones of Obama's change platform.  The Dems won the presidency and both chambers of Congress on the coattails of Obama's pledge of change.  And when a party wins both the presidency and the Congress you get change.  And then you get a political backlash against that change.  It almost happens like clockwork, especially in a president's first term.  In fact only 3 presidents since Reconstruction have netted seats in midterm elections (FDR-first midterm gain, Clinton-second midterm gain and W.-first midterm gain; I attritbute W.'s midterm success in 2002 to the goodwill directed towards him and the GOP in the aftermath of 9/11, but, that's just my take).  Let's see what happens next.  Maybe the Dems lose the House or Senate in the midterm elections.  I certainly doubt they lose both.  Dodd's financial reform bill just flew through the Senate committee and is headed to the Senate floor for debate.  More change on the way?  Who could possibly be against financial rules changes in the wake of "too big to fail?"

But, as usual, I digress.  So there will be changes in health insurance but not as much as some wanted and way more than others desired.  That compromises were made should surprise no one.  Don't forget some of the definitions of compromise: 1. To arrive at a settlement by making concessions; 2. To reduce the quality, value, or degree of something.