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?