It’s not over yet.
Just because the Senate passed its version of healthcare reform, the path is not going to be smooth from this point on. There’s still time to derail it.
If you watched the “victory” celebration by the Democratic leadership after the vote, you would think it’s a done deal. Well, that’s premature. Keep in mind there’s always a lot of hype in politics, and politicians want you to believe that something is set in stone.
That doesn’t square with reality, though. The Senate bill must now be reconciled with the House bill. There are big differences. While the Senate bill puts government in charge of overseeing competition among the health insurance companies, the House bill calls for an all-out government insurance plan.
There’s also the issue of abortion. I’m glad this one doesn’t go away. I’m thankful that in this country there is still debate over the morality of this act. We’ll see if the House Democrats who call themselves Blue Dogs, cave, as their counterparts in the Senate did. We’ll find out if there is any such thing left in this country that we can call a conservative Democrat.
Then there’s public opinion, which is now solidly opposed to this healthcare approach. Are Democrats really going to stand firm against a rising tide of disgust over their arrogance? Some of them might want to get reelected next year.
So while it’s easy to despair, we’re not at that point just yet. Even if it does eventually become law, future congresses can change it—if there’s enough moral and political will. The key: get principled people in the Congress. Set your sights on November 2010.