Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finally done


Health insurance reform legislation passed in the Senate today after more than a year of wrangling between progressive and corporate Democrats, and an all-out effort among Republicans to derail it. The Teabaggers and other right-wingers throughout the country reacted with their usual grace and sophistication: racist and homophobic slurs, vandalism, threats, envelopes of white powder in the mail and other charming instances of the spittle-flecked, purple-faced rage that spills over whenever a small, long-overdue step towards social justice is achieved.

The ignorance and incoherence of the Right was in full flower during the past year, what with cries of "keep government hands off my medicare," attacks on medical patients and children, and the comparison of Obama to Hitler in the apparent belief that attempting to solve the healthcare crisis is equivalent to exterminating millions of people.

The spectacle was similar to school integration in the 60's when the desire of dark-skinned children to have a better educations was a crime worthy of capital punishment by vigilante mobs.

It would have been nice to have a single-payer system or at least a public option for all this effort, but when you want something more than your opponent does, you are at a disadvantage in the negotiation process.

There is good to be had out of this, with the closing of the Medicare donut hole, the ending of discrimination against pre-existing conditions, ending limits on coverage, and of course, extending coverage to more people. I also hope that this ordeal has finally convinced Democrats that Republicans care about nothing but regaining power and will never negotiate in good faith.