Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Presidency SAVED!

This morning President Obama signed what is being called the Health Care Reform bill. Phew. But what I'm feeling is exactly what Dennis Kucinich wrote, in an article in Esquire, about his decision to support the bill. Happy that it passed, because if it didn't, Obama's presidency would have been dealt a severe/death blow and this was an historical moment after 100 years of trying to do something about health care reform. As much as I am at odds with many of the administration's policies, I certainly don't want it paralyzed for the next three years. Too bad the reason for supporting it, though, is "think of the alternative". All you have to do is hear one minute of the loonie right and braindead Republicans to feel grateful we have a Democratic President and Democratic MAJORITY in office.  

So, just to be clear, this bill that was painstakingly signed today, after a tortuous year of smoke and mirrors, is not a health care reform bill by any stretch of the imagination. As Nalini Chilkov wrote this morning, "Let's Be Honest: Health Insurance Reform is Health Care Reform". While the Republicans ponder how to repeal the bill and support, in their silence, their nefarious disgusting shout outs, racial and homophobic slurs in the hope that their negative strategy will stir Americans' family values, as they puzzlingly crawl their way to taking what they believe is the high road (which they self-righteously believe they're on), Democrats all over the nation should now be working hard to get single payer systems in their home states. Single payer is the only way to reduce costs, cover everyone and get rid of the insurance companies once and for all. Learn about single payer here: California One Care has a comprehensive strategy for getting single payer in California. And, as we know, as California goes, so goes the rest of the world!

There is much work to do to fix the bill that just passed. Ahead are contentious years of trying to fix this bill to get it to where single payer already is. So much wasted energy bobbing and weaving lobbyists, making backroom deals, tense confrontations with opponents when all of that same energy could be put toward creating a viable single payer system instead of creating mystifying bandaid solutions along the way. 

Oh, it would be ever so nice if OFA decided to put its millions of grassroots troops and organizers behind single payer (I sound like a broken record and will continue to do so) and make a real contribution to President Obama's agenda. After all, Obama did say that single payer was the only way to go...once the Dems took back the White House, took back the Senate, took back the House. And Voila! We have done all of that...and now we have a bill that slightly regulates insurance companies and does nothing for health care, preventative or otherwise. What a victory.

Get to work! Please.

UPDATE: I just got a text from President Obama - bet you did, too - calling this bill a Health Insurance Reform bill confirming my post.