If it weren’t so important, it would have been hysterically funny. At 6:34 p.m. yesterday, I got an email that started like this:
Frantic Obama Plan’s Sunday ObamaCare Vote! ALERT: Obama and House Democrats are forcing a “suicide run” on ObamaCare with a Sunday vote but are still short the 216 votes they need to pass ObamaCare. Pelosi’s plan is to break down Blue Dog holdouts in a desperate last ditch effort with a vote on the floor of the House. If they don’t have the votes, they will allow the measure to be defeated.
FAX To STOP ObamaCare NOW!
TELL ALL 261 Democrat/Independent Representatives, Blue Dog Democrats AND President Obama To KILL THIS BILL and CUT HealthCare COSTS FIRST.
I didn’t get it until after the vote. By the time I had pulled myself away from the NCAA tournament and other Sunday activities, I had also gotten an email from Obama’s campaign thanking me for my support in getting health care through, stating:
For the first time in our nation’s history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.
Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:
Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.
So I guess I now live in a socialist country. Oh wait, that has been true since I was in grade school, at least if you believe the Republican rhetoric. According to Ronald Reagan, , we have all lived in a Socialist country since Medicare passed. He said this about Medicare in 1961, before the days of email and faxes:
What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms and that you demand the continuation of our traditional free enterprise system. You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our congressmen, even if we believe that he’s on our side to begin with, write to strengthen his hand. Write those letters now. Call your friends and tell them to write.
If you don’t, this program, I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country… until one day as Norman Thomas said, we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”
And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.
Ironically, Reagan spent his sunset years protecting Medicare, when he was President. I wonder if he felt less free?
For a historic perspective on this change, listen to the podcast from OnPoint Radio of today, which can be found at http://www.onpointradio.org/ As my friend Jack Beatty said on this show, the Obama plan is not socialism, but more akin to things that have been proposed by Republican presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, in an effort to stall Democratic proposals to do what Obama finally got done last night.
For those who are advocates for the disabled, this is an important step. It isn’t what American’s should have for coverage, Medicare for all, but it is huge step in the right direction. Ultimately, Barack Obama must get the credit. Often criticized from both the right and the left, he used his intelligent, reasonable and conscientious leadership style to patiently get something done that Presidents Johnson, Clinton and Roosevelt could not do.
Obama deserves the credit because he made “Change” something that galvanized the country. He deserves credit because he found a way, without ever losing the moral superiority of his position, to compromise, cajole and lead his party over every obstacle the “party of no” put in his way. He deserves credit because the excellence of his campaign, the inspiration of his ideas gave the Democrats such a landslide victory in November of 2008, that the Republicans could not stop this.
To echo Barack’s words of last night “Because of you, (President Obama), every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.”
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
firstname.lastname@example.org :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.