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I've seen some really interesting stuff over the last few months. People who voted against President Obama in the election are complaining they are not being heard. It's not fair. they say. This is America and everyone has a voice. Well, that's true. This is America, we do have a representative government and we all had the chance to speak loud and clear. We did it last November and we elected a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.
It's no big secret that a major plank in the Democratic platform was major health care reform. Not a band-aid, but major surgery. Many of us have been waiting for this since President Clinton failed to get it accomplished. On the night Obama was elected and Congress went to the Democrats, along with the other reasons we celebrated we celebrated because hope of real health care reform in our lifetime was alive.
Obama, being the diplomat that he is, decided to take a different approach to health care reform than President Clinton took. Rather than coming up with a specific plan, he wanted to get Congressional (and hopefully Republican) buy-in. So, he gave a broad outline and decided to let Congress work it out. Instead of going for the whole enchilada (true universal coverage and a single payer system), concessions were made to allow the private health industry stay in place. Many people who voted for Obama want a single payer system and true universal coverage. But, that was never even put on the table.
The Democrats have tried to work with the Republicans on this major issue of concern to everybody in the country. But, increasingly, the Republicans are signaling that they don't really want major reform. Chuck Grassley, who is supposed to be negotiating a bill stabbed Obama in the back with his comment that people really should fear death squads and now is saying he won't even vote for the bill he's helping to craft if he can't get the majority of his Republican cronies to go along with it.
Sorry, fellas. It's time to take the gloves off. Obama and the Democrats tried to play nice and got not much in return. Honestly, I hate partisan politics. I wish the Democrats and the Republicans could all get along, sing kumbaya and work for the good of the American people. But, while that might happen in the future (ha), it sure ain't the way it is today. The Republican minority in Congress seems to see diplomacy as weakness (as is evidenced by the previous administration's foreign policy strategy). Instead of seriously working on the already compromised reforms the Democrats offered, they began picking it apart and trying to get it to die the death of 1,000 cuts; meanwhile offering no really serious alternatives. It's time for the Democrats to step up and do what they were elected to do. And, maybe, just maybe they're about to do just that. White House may push through health care without Republicans
For those of you who say you aren't being heard, I say this with all the respect and compassion I can muster. It sucks not to be heard. It sucks when the country takes a turn you couldn't disagree with more. But, we all have to live with it. We can't all have our own way all of the time. As John McCain,said "Elections have consequences." While I'm certain there will be issues with any bill that is passed, the elected majority does have the right (I'd say mandate in this case) to do what they feel needs to be done. The people have spoken, the Democrats were elected, based largely on the promise of health care reform and it's time to "get 'er done".