Sunday, November 08, 2009

Health Care Reform Bill Passes House

Last night the House of Representatives in Washington voted to approve the long debated Health Care Reform Bill after an amendment to exclude federal money from being used for abortions.

Let me stop here to remind people what a bag of poop President Obama was handed when he took the Oval Office less than a year ago. Our country was demotivated to the point where all eyes were not looking towards January 20 for Obama, they were just looking for change. We didn't know what he would be capable of as a President, but we knew just about anything would be better than George W. Bush's blundering incompetence. The world was on the brink of financial collapse and America had almost lost hope that we could pull out of what looked like the revisiting of the Great Depression.

President Barack Obama may not score points with liberals for his non-committal in GLBT issues, but I believe he should be given credit for what he has been able to accomplish in the given time frame. Now it seems he has been able to take on the high powered lobbyists and corporate giants in the health-care industries, bringing the public a plan to provide everyone health coverage. This impossible task is a step closer to it's goal this morning after last night's vote.

Let me take a moment to remind people of the lies and deceptions that have been used against the GLBT community in order to get uninformed citizens afraid enough to speak out against what's good for them. This tactic is more prevalent in politics than anyone would ever want to believe, but perhaps a few more eyes have been opened thanks to the GLBT community's activists bringing some light to their own cause. Let's hope we can remember this lesson and not listen to the rhetoric we should expect as this bill now goes to the Senate for final confirmation.

Here is a message that was sent out this morning from the President's people:

John --

This evening, at 11:15 p.m., the House of Representatives voted to pass their health insurance reform bill. Despite countless attempts over nearly a century, no chamber of Congress has ever before passed comprehensive health reform. This is history.

But you and millions of your fellow Organizing for America supporters didn't just witness history tonight -- you helped make it. Each "yes" vote was a brave stand, backed up by countless hours of knocking on doors, outreach in town halls and town squares, millions of signatures, and hundreds of thousands of calls. You stood up. You spoke up. And you were heard.

So this is a night to celebrate -- but not to rest. Those who voted for reform deserve our thanks, and the next phase of this fight has already begun.

The final Senate bill hasn't even been released yet, but the insurance companies are already pressing hard for a filibuster to bury it. OFA has built a massive neighborhood-by-neighborhood operation to bring people's voices to Congress, and tonight we saw the results. But the coming days will put our efforts to the ultimate test. Winning will require each of us to give everything we can, starting right now.

Tonight's vote brought every American closer to the secure, affordable care we need. But it was also a watershed moment in how change is made.

Even after last year's election, many insider lobbyists and partisan operatives really thought that the old formula of scare tactics, D.C. back-scratching and special-interest money would still be enough to block any idea they didn't like. Now, they're desperate. Because, tonight, you made it crystal clear: the old rules are changing -- and the people will not be ignored.

In the final phases of last year's election, I often reminded folks, "Don't think for a minute that power concedes without a fight," and it's especially true today. But that's okay -- we're not afraid of a fight. And as you continue to prove, when all of us work together, we have what it takes to win.

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