Monday, March 22, 2010

219: The Magic Number?

We all know by now that the Obama adminstration sucessfully overhauled health care and passed a reform bill with a slim margin of 219-214 votes.

Obama: “Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party – it is a victory for the American people. Tonight, we answered the call of history.”
The legislation extends health care to millions of uninsured Americans, an idea that dates back to Pres. Theodore Roosevelt. It brings the largest federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were established over forty years ago.
Not one Republican supported the measure. While Americans are divided on the issue, one thing is for sure; the Republican party is now seen as the 'party of no'. They offered no solution but fought health care reform to the end. One can't fight something with nothing. One of the problems that people, including myself, had with Obama is his tendency to straddle the fence and seek bi-partisanship too often. The bill was almost killed until Obama decided to stick to his guns and fight tooth and nail. With the passing of the biggest social legislature in decades, he stood his ground even with the danger of harming his own legacy.

I take issue with people who are misinformed yet are the most vocal about the bill. I don't claim to know everything but I have done my best to stay on track and well read about the issue. Both those who celebrate it blindly and oppose it blindly need to do some research. This landmark moment will affect every American.
I won't go into a long soap box speech about my feelings but I do support the bill. No, it's not perfect but what legislation is? People need health care. Will we have raised taxes? Perhaps. Will doctor pay get cut? Perhaps. I know that being a doctor is difficult and it's about status many times. However, while the health care bill was being passed, we are all ignoring the education overhaul that is set to follow. Teacher pay could be directly affected by test scores of students. Therefore, the most competent teachers will not go to the most needy schools if they want more money. The kids will still suffer and the cycle will continue. So why are we worried about greedy insurance companies and doctors? I have very personal reasons to have issues with the way doctor visits are conducted and the process of 'treating' a patient for the sake of research rather than seeking a cure. Hopefully, the corruption will be addressed.
There are many myths swirling around about health care. Can illegal immigrants get free health care automatically under the new bill? No. They may be mandated to seek health insurance but they do not qualify for government funding. However, the verification of citizenship process has a few holes which could let people slip through the cracks. Tighter regulation is what we need. But I'm not against the change. The costs are a bit unsettling for me but we spend money on worse things.
Those crying socialism barely know what the term implies. The same people crying about spending and rights being taking away support the war on terror and the Patriot Act. Why would you rather spend money on a war on foreign soil than a fight to provide care for millions?
Those who promote the 'values' of this Christian nation should be the last to protest any socialized care if that were the case. Romans 15:1-6 talks about the 'haves' bearing the issues 'have-nots', even at the danger of not pleasing themselves. It draws comparison to the self-sacrifice of Christ. It's similar to the parable in which the rich man was told to give all of his wealth away to be saved and he couldn't do it. I'm not one to bring religion into political and social matters but I find it funny that the main people who wave bibles to push one agenda cast it aside when another arises. I don't promote supporting people who don't work and abuse the system but I do acknowledge the fact that there are people that need provisions.
Anyway, only time will tell how this will truly affect us all. In the mean time, this is a historical moment and we should all do what we can to stay informed about how the issue will affect us directly. There's no place for blind judgment and conspiracy rhetoric.

Below are a couple of links with some info on the new bill:

[10 Things We Should Know From]

[CNN: What Can You Expect Right Away]

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