By Harrison Barron
This week has been one of the most contentious, yet important, weeks in recent memory. The passage of the health care bill by the House of Representatives last Sunday sent Republicans into a tizzy both in D.C. and around the country. But for many Democrats, the passage of this bill represented a realization of the change that President Obama has been speaking about for almost two years.
It is true that this health care bill will cost $950 billion over the next ten years – an extraordinary amount of money considering the recession that the country has been mired in. But the bill will reduce the federal deficit by over $100 billion in that same time period, and the benefits it extends to many Americans – on many levels – are unquantifiable.
Suddenly 32 million people will have the health insurance that they would otherwise be unable to afford. The bill also makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition.
The notion that the people in this country who are uninsured are lazy is a ludicrous assertion, but one that I have heard on numerous occasions. In many cases, these people are working two or three jobs that don’t provide them with health care, and they must choose between using their salaries to feed their families or provide themselves and their children with health insurance. This bill isn’t socialism; it’s providing families with the ability to live healthy lives regardless of socio-economic status, and people with serious health conditions to be able to pay for doctors to hopefully heal their ailments.
Yes, this bill may cost Democrats seats in Congress, but at least they got something done. If the Democrats hadn’t been able to pass this bill, Republicans surely would have told Americans that Democrats had done nothing with control of both the House and Senate. And now that the bill has passed, they are telling Americans that Democrats force-fed the nation a bill they didn’t want. It was a lose-lose situation.
This bill is certainly a step in the right direction, and, in due time, it will be vindicated. Call me a socialist if you please, but for the first time in a long time I have a reason to be proud of my government.