Don’t Wait for Perfection — Celebrate Now

You know, I don’t have much to say about myself today.  I’m sitting here, thinking of something far more important.  I’m basking in the knowledge that the Democrats managed a miracle of legislation on the House of Representatives floor last night.

American families will no longer have to bankrupt themselves in the wake of serious illness.

Preexisting disease won’t interfere with getting health coverage.

None of us will have to try to answer the puzzled and pointed questions from our Canadian and European friends about how on earth the richest country in the world doesn’t provide basic health care for its citizens.

I know there are serious problems and shortcomings with this legislation.  We can argue about that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.  Today, I don’t care.

I also know the Democrats will pay hell for this victory.  But you can’t tell me a victory will be anywhere close to as costly and humiliating and demoralizing as a defeat would have been.

What makes this healthcare victory even more compelling is how unexpected it is.  After Scott Brown’s election to Teddy Kennedy’s old Senate seat and the Democrats’ loss of their super-majority in the Senate, it all seemed hopeless.  Once again, Congress and a Democratic administration would fail to deliver on a basic human right in a civilized society.

I think back to this time, only a few weeks ago.  I recall it vividly, since my own reaction was a lot of moaning and whining (one of the many reasons why you’d never want to vote somebody like me into high office).

Oddly, according to this riveting report in Politico, it was Brown’s election that shook the Democrats and fired them up.  Nancy Pelosi, evidently, was implacable about wanting a comprehensive bill and masterminded much of the strategy and political hardball that got played.  I can’t think of anything more thrilling than a bill that came that close to breathing its last getting resurrected; we’re talking Lazarus here.  I couldn’t be any happier that the first female speaker of the House played such a pivotal role in it.

So, last night, my husband and I watched the final couple of hours on CNN and shared a bottle of Prosecco.  How wonderful to have something this meaningful to celebrate.  Hooray for us.  Hooray for all of us.

(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)

Read one of my favorite posts about who needs death panels when you can make your patients homicidal?

11 comments… add one
  • And another hooray!

  • I’m so happy I’ve just been giddy all morning.  Read William Saletan on today.  He thinks the Dems may not be punished for it afterall.

  • Congratulations, Ruth! I know it’s seriously flawed in many way, but whodathunk? This is a just response to the foul scenes in DC in recent days, with those teabaggers spitting and hurling foul epithets at elected representatives.
    I do hope the Dems don’t pay dearly at the mid-term polls in November.

  • I watched most of the proceedings yesterday just for the entertainment value of seeing the Republicans melt-down.  I, too, think the bill falls far short of what we need, but it’s a start.  And, I’m confident that we will be able to add to it and, finally, have what we really wanted in the first place – single payer healthcare for all.
    I always enjoy reading your blog.

  • I was up super late listening to the World Service for the nail biting finish. 

  • CindyD Link

    It’s a good day for America.  We’ll make sure the Repubs don’t give us a drubbing in November.  Wooo hooo!!  We will all vote early and often just as we have always done in Texas.

  • Craig Link

    I am glad but sad as well. If we are going to rile up the right anyway I wished we would have really pissed them off and went the whole hog – slapped the insurance companies back to reality and got a single payer system in place. People realize that doing the right thing, as we did in the Voting Rights Act, Social Security, and Medicaire is disruptive for a shorter length of time than expected. But I’ll raise my glass to your toast just because I like watching Nancy Pelosi bang that gavel .

  • What a day! What a vote! What history!

  • I am also thrilled but feel this doesn’t do enough. It still does not make health insurance affordable. I feel very strongly that health care should not be a for profit field. Insurance companies should not be making huge profits while refusing to pay for tests or procedures. Every year my husband’s company reevaluates their health insurance and every year we pay more and more for policies that cover less and less.

  • Cindy A Link

    Seems that Democrats show up at the polls because they’re hopeful and Republicans show up because they’re mad.  I’ve already started my prayers:  please, please, Democrats, please show up in November.  We cannot let the Repeal-icans get an edge.

  • Amen. Thank God for reasonable, intelligent people like us!

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