I see, in various places, that deals are now in place to secure the 60 votes needed to end debate on the Health Care bill in the Senate. Setting aside the staggering insanity that we’ve now reached a place where the Senate requires a supermajority to do anything more than go to the bathroom, it’s time to lock down and get this thing done.
My take on the bill? It’s nowhere near perfect. I’d frankly like to see the French system adopted in the United States, but…well, I’m not in the mood to write a long post about what I want. The current bill doesn’t go far enough, and the process has been very ugly (Joe Lieberman is, in my mind, one of the vilest people in American public life), but it seems on the brink of having produced a bill that does get some good things done. I also note that the bill is, and should, in no way be the final word on health care in this country, just as the first Civil Rights bill in the 1950s was in no way the final word on that topic. If you can’t get everything you want, then it seems to me that at least getting some of what you want, or moving in the general direction of something that you want, is the clear course of action.
Some folks say “Oh, just kill the bill and start over”. That sounds great — well, no, it doesn’t, especially considering the stark reality that if this bill fails, there will be no “starting over”. There will be no rolling-up-of-the-sleeves, “Let’s get a better bill”. There will be blame, recriminations, head-shakings galore, triumphant nonsense by the Teabaggers…and then health care will again be seen as this toxic thing that no one dare touch for another sixteen years.
We got nowhere with this when I was 22. I’m 38 now, and I’d like to get somewhere, because if we go nowhere again, the fact is that it’s almost certain the topic won’t come up again until I’m well into my 50s. “This bill or a better bill” is not an option. The only option is “This bill, or no bill.”
So pass the damned bill.
(And for the love of God, start rewriting the Senate rules to get rid of the filibuster. It’s just nonsensical.)