The news that the House passed the Health care reform bill was a welcome relief. Passing this bill was a huge step toward raising the standard of living in the United States and improving the quality of life for all.
The senate must still reconcile the House bill with its own, and senators will face heavy lobbying during the weeks ahead. The stories of doom and gloom should begin to disappear. Health care providers will begin to realize that millions of new “customers” are about to enter the health care market.
If the law achieves even part of its purpose, medical bills will not climb as quickly as they have in the past few years. Fewer people will be forced into bankruptcy by medical bills. People will no longer have to put off needed medical care because they cannot afford it. In short, Americans will have one less thing to worry about.
This is a day to be proud to be part of a democracy. The government did what millions of us asked it to do, and have been asking it to do for many years. There has not been much of that in the last ten years.
Lots of people heard that government is the problem. The Republican Party courted a brand of far-right conservative whose outlook is basically libertarianism. These people believe that abolishing the government will make us all better off. It is not uncommon to hear ordinary people talk about a city being “government controlled.” People have heard the buzzwords repeated so many times that they have the illusion of truth. The government must be the enemy, or so many people would not be saying so.
They have been coached to resent the government and everything it does by conservative hate-speech radio. They and the talking heads they listen to have forgotten one very basic fact. In the United States of America, WE are the government. To say that the government is the enemy in this country is to say that the people of the United States are their own enemy.
These same government-haters are the ones who apply for social security and Medicare on the first day they become eligible. They support their local police and fire department, and they will call the police immediately if a neighbor’s party becomes too loud.
It will be really interesting to watch them wait for the end of the world as they know it. Watching them grow old waiting for the dire consequences that never come will provide some entertainment and fodder for comics. How will they reconcile reality to their world view when every small business in the country fails to fail? What will they do when people do not have to wait for years for routine surgery? They might just realize that they were wrong. They might get the idea that it is good to live in a society that takes care of all its members and not just the privileged moneyed class. Eventually, they may see that the rest of America is not their enemy.
One can hope.