Sunday, February 28, 2010

Truth and consequences

Despite Republican talking points that the Democrats' health-care legislation was assembled under cover of darkness, contains dangerous surprises and has been rammed through the chambers of Congress, the president and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate should get on with passing a reform bill that does what needs to be done for the good of the nation.

Finally, it seems that the party with big majorities in both houses is going to take some decisive action, using in the Senate the process known as "reconciliation," which means that a simple majority -- 50 senators plus the vice president in his role as the tie-breaking chair of that chamber -- is needed to pass the bill. The country is sinking under the weight of swiftly rising health care costs, while at the same time there are tens of millions without health care at all.

Let us not forget that Democrats have been trying to reform health care and to bring in the uninsured since FDR, and that Obama's plan is less far-reaching that the plan Republican President Richard Nixon put forward during his time in office.

Elections have consequences, the saying goes. For eight years Americans were forced to live (and are still living) with the terrible consequences of George W. Bush's two elections. The Democrats won decidedly in November of 2008. It's time they start acting like it.

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