Health care victory

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Almost every sector of American society greeted yesterday's signing of a historic health care law as a major step toward guaranteeing affordable health insurance for all. Labor unions, health care professionals, small business owners, retirees, students, and ordinary people from throughout the country applauded President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for having the tenacity to push through what's being called the most sweeping health care legislation since the establishment of Medicare in the 1960s.

We join with those who hail this legislation both as a measure that will save lives now and begin curbing the insurance industry, and as a giant first step to further reforms that will provide quality, affordable health care for every person in the United States.

Beyond that, its passage is a major defeat for the far right - the Republican Party, sections of Corporate America, and their fascist-like tea party shock troops. The enactment of this bill is an enormous victory for the broad progressive movement in our country. It will give energy and enthusiasm to that movement as it mobilizes and builds for the struggles ahead to advance a pro-worker, pro-people agenda.

The far right has been left glaringly isolated but perhaps even more dangerously aggressive. These racist hate-mongers fought viciously to block the bill on behalf of the nation's insurance companies and now say they will continue their dirty campaign by trying to repeal it. But it's clear that an energized people's movement will not let that happen.

Even organizations and individuals critical of the bill (because of restrictions on women's reproductive rights, or its exclusion of undocumented immigrants, or because it doesn't go far enough) have acknowledged its importance and far-reaching implications.

The great majority of health care reform advocates, including those who call for a single-payer system, see the legislation as opening up space to further the struggle for Medicare for all. Many note the bill provides a number of immediate benefits.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the bill's passage a "momentous step toward comprehensive coverage" and vowed that labor will continue to advocate for health care that works for working families.

The new law reestablishes the role of government in providing a "safety net" to support ordinary folks against the most outrageous excesses of our health care system. As President Obama put it, "It enshrines the idea that everybody should have universal health care."

The fight isn't over. The corporate-backed far right will continue to use racism, lies and anti-government conspiracy theories to try to scare and confuse people. We got some ugly glimpses of this just as Congress was on the eve of passing the health care bill.

Tea party protesters in Ohio yelled at and abused a man with Parkinson's disease because he was courageous enough to show his support for health care reform. In Washington, others yelled racist and homophobic epithets at members of Congress.

Some call it the tea-partiers' Bull Connor moment. Connor was the racist, pro-segregation "public safety" commissioner in Birmingham, Ala., who used dogs and fire hoses against African American children standing up against Jim Crow in the 1960s.

Just as the American people rejected the Bull Connor segregationists after seeing the fire-hosing of children in Birmingham, the American people will reject the vicious racism and hate-filled attacks of today's Bull Connors.

After almost a year of lobbying, demonstrations, petitions, rallies, health care story collections, town hall meetings, this is a moment to savor a hard-fought victory. And it's a moment to celebrate the persistence and tenacity of the people's movement for progressive change - a good thing since there are many more battles ahead.

Photo: WhiteHouse.gov

 

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  • With all due respect companeros y companeras. I fail to see how this bill can be accuratley described as a "victory" when the culprit of the crisis in healthcare is allowed to continue profiteering at our expense? How is this bill a "victory" when working people will be taxed on the "benefit"? When people unable to pay for the coverage are fined for not having it? When the bill itself was developed and written by a healthcare insurance executive?

    Ok. Celebrate if you so wish. I will continue to fight for a single payer/Medicare For All plan that will eliminate the need of for profit HMOs and their ilk!

    And please, do not equate me with those redneck neanderthals from the right that if given the chance would reinstitute slavery, outlaw the vote for women and have us all working 16 hours a day, six days a week for less than the prevailing minimum wage! Tea Baggers and their kind are dangerous and must be kept at bay!

    Posted by Pancho Valdez, 03/26/2010 6:08pm (4 years ago)

  • This article is incorrect. The 'far right' are not against Gvt. healthcare because we love big insurance companies.
    We are For what our Founding Fathers,(Benjamin Franklin,
    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock), fought so hard for: Freedom in a country of Limited Government control. That was why they risked everything they owned. They purposely, carefully crafted the Constitution with the intent to encourage freedom and discourage Big Government.

    The Government was not intended to be in the business of owning a business, or controlling our economy through a government-run healthcare system. Again, this goes against what the Fathers' vision was.

    Right now we have medicare, medicaid, social security, U.S. Postal service, DMV, and more Government run enitities that are bankrupt or going bankrupt. The Federal Government's track record for running business/entities is poor.

    We will soon be a bankrupt country, especially after Obama Healthcare starts it's wheels, we will go down the tubes. Good bye America, land that I love and land that my heroes fought for.

    Posted by Faith , 03/26/2010 1:41pm (4 years ago)

  • The behavior of the far right is just an example of what the country has in store if they gain control.

    The recent violence shows their true colors.

    We, meaning the center, the liberals , and yes the moderate conservatives must stand up to the vile behavior of these racist hate mongers.

    Posted by Ronald Humphrey, 03/26/2010 6:02am (4 years ago)

  • I was in favor of including a public option in the bill, and was quite disappointed that it was left out. This article highlights some of the details of the bill that will make modest improvements in people's access to health care, however I am glad you make mention of the other positive aspect to the passage of the health care bill.

    While Big Pharma did put some money into very carefully worded pro-reform ads ("Let's get reform, but let's do it right this time.".. apparently, in opposition to "HillaryCare" of yesteryear), the insurance industry poured massive amounts of money into opposition of any reform whatsoever, other than deregulation to allow insurers to offer plans across state lines. Inspite of this massive expenditure of money, massive PR/ad campaign, massive mobilization of astroturf "movements" like the Tea Baggers... a modestly progressive health care bill passed. And that happened because people rallied in favor of reform. Just regular people. Working class people, people of color, women's groups all came together. They didn't have the money or media control that the insurance giants had, but that coalition went head to head against an industry that represents 1/6 of America's capital and the people didn't go down in flames. They came out of it with something a little advanced of what they had going into it. That's an important thing to take note of. People coming together and acting in a coordinated way at the national level can take on big capital and come out ahead. And so, it is reasonable to think of this bill as a start. What else do we want? Its ours for the asking. They're on the defensive, the initiative is ours.

    Posted by Damien, 03/25/2010 12:25pm (4 years ago)

  • Check for this "newspaper" under the following URL:

    Discoverthenetworks.com"

    I bet it IS a Communist propaganda source. And there are MANY Commie fronts out there. Take a look.

    Posted by , 03/25/2010 10:38am (4 years ago)

  • It is very obvious you are a communist like those that voted for this bill. This is FAR from a victory its a take over and less freedom. Take the illegals and the welfare babies off the systems and health care would not be such a burden to those of us that work !

    Posted by American Taxpayer , 03/25/2010 1:39am (4 years ago)

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