Friday, December 25, 2009

US Senate passes Obama's landmark healthcare bill.

I know that there are many on the left who have attacked Obama and let their deep frustration be known because the new healthcare bill does not include a public option, but I don't agree with Glenn Greenwald that this is because Obama never wanted such a thing. I think this is much more to do with the fact that Blue Dog Democrats aren't really Democrats in any meaningful sense of that term, and that the bill Obama has come up with it simply the best one that he could get these buggers to agree to.

The early-morning vote in the first Christmas Eve session for decades came after months of intense negotiations by the president's allies in the Senate, who were forced to wrangle for every Democratic vote in the chamber to overcome Republican opposition.
Republicans have long opposed any reform of American healthcare, lying to the American public by claiming that their healthcare is the best in the world, so Obama was never going to get any support from that side of the aisle; which, of course, gave an incredible amount of power to the Joe Lieberman's of this world who were able to strip all the best bits out of the bill in order to please their corporate sponsors.

Nevertheless, it is an achievement for Obama, one which - although short of what many progressives would like to see - still gives healthcare protection to millions who presently do not have it.

Negotiators will have to iron out differences between the two bills on coverage for abortion. Among other distinctions, the Senate-passed bill does not establish a government-run health insurance programme, a provision sought by Obama and congressional liberals.

The Senate bill passed on a 60-39 party line vote.

The overhaul is expected to extend health insurance to 30 million Americans who currently lack it. For the first time, Americans will be required to obtain health insurance, and insurers will be forbidden from denying coverage based on patients' pre-existing conditions.

Those who cannot get insurance through their employers will have access to a government-regulated health insurance exchange and may receive subsidies. A government-run insurance programme for the poor will be vastly expanded.

America won't begin to see the kind of bills many progressives want to see until the Democratic party starts challenging the Blue Dog Democrats and replacing them with people who believe in what the Democratic Party is supposed to believe in.

The bill has angered the president's allies on the left, who have criticised the exclusion of a public health insurance programme and restrictions on abortion coverage, both modifications necessary to win over conservative Democrats.

Senator Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut, an independent who is nominally allied with the Democrats, forced the removal of a public insurance programme, angering many Democrats, while Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, agreed to support the bill only after it was amended on insurance coverage for abortion.

The Democrats should start by putting a strong candidate up against Lieberman and making sure his or her campaign is financed to the hilt.

Nothing would give me greater joy than to see that little toad run out of office.

Click here for full article.


nunya said...

Nothing is going to change in this country until the congresswhores can't be bribed by corporate money any more.

Kel said...