18 December 2009

the bill

a-ha, my political commentating hiatus has ended (at least for the moment). the bill of which i write is none other than the famously partisan healthcare act. as well as the compromising and horse trading going on over on the floor of the senate. the bending over backward to reach some kind of consensus on the _reform_ being pushed like a two-ton brick by the white house. the one that, as far from perfect as it might be, is still the first step in a very long journey toward a single payer system (which is the only one that will satiate the far left).

what i don't understand is the outrage over the concessions being made. hello people, we can't even all get along and agree on everything within our little latte-drinking circles of liberal elitism. how can we expect that contentious bunch of incompetent fucktards on the hill to reach even a version of perfection, without letting them begin by taking the baby steps their feeble minds can handle?

yes, the bill stands without a public option. so fucking what. let's make healthcare affordable, force everyone to buy in (with subsidies when necessary), monetarily fine them if they skirt the system (like we do with car insurance), and see (let's just see) if the market can work itself out.

in theory, with more people putting money into the insurance pool, and fewer people demanding emergency services for a cold-gone-pneumonia, costs should go down. we're doing away with discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and putting some regulatory controls in place (1,000-pages worth) to help keep the costs down.

and if it doesn't work, we get to point our 'i told you so' fingers in the faces of the free-market zealots who fought for the freedom of unregulated corporate greed to chase after coffers filled with american tax dollars (and a whole lotta yuan). and we get a good bounce of momentum closer to single payer.

on top of the good dose of what's already annoying about our political process, we got front row seats to the senate taking it up the ass by big pharma. maybe that's a better place to direct some of the populist anti-senate rage. maybe it's time we call bullshit on big lobby sellouts, by finding new senators and congresspersons. we've got some elections coming up next year. demand change with the power of your vote, like you did when you voted for the guy who can't do it all by himself.

but remember that ours is a system set up to find compromise, and is the politics in which we must operate. it has always been this slow, painful, and methodical, and likely always will be. democracy is hard, and a constant work in progress. we will many times make mistakes, get it wrong the first time, or just plain ole fuck up.

for some perspective: in november of 1772, sam adams convened a group of 21 american rebels in boston, during which they agreed to reach out to neighboring communities to see if there was enough consensus to demand England grant the colonies the right to self-rule. Our Declaration of Independence wasn't signed until 4 july 1776. and it was a long and hard road, fraught with endless and circular debate, stress, compromises, slow communication, and bombs bursting in air.

this bill might not be perfect, but as confuscious mighta one day muttered, 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' so let us embrace our first step in healthcare reform, and start working on the second instead of wasting all this energy throwing in the towel because we didn't get our way with the first.


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