I've devoted the past several months, and every day this week, totally to health care reform. I've attended rallies, met with congressional staff members, made phone calls and marched. Finally, for the first time since the election in Massachusetts, I am cautiously optimistic that we might actually get it done.
I'm optimistic because senators like Harry Reid and Chris Dodd are finally speaking publicly, and forcefully, about getting the job done with or without the Republicans. Representatives like Congressman Anthony Weiner are plainly stating the facts on the House floor about our congressional representatives being a subsidiary of the insurance firms. It was clear in Wednesday's summit that Republicans have no interest in participating in comprehensive reform.
Congress has spent one year coming up with a bill. If they can't get it done in that time frame, shouldn't they be fired? Survey after survey shows that the American people want the reforms that are in the bill. It's true, surveys also show that they don't like the bill, but I am willing to bet that the majority of the people who don't like it, don't know what's in it. They only know of a few things they don't like. It's like going to a restaurant, not liking a few things on the menu (that you have no intention of consuming) and condemning the restaurant as bad.
With a mechanism for success easily within reach, Democrats have no excuse for failure. They have already passed the bill. Now they just need to tweak it to get rid of some of the deals they made. With only 51 votes needed for reconciliation, they no longer need the Joe Leiberman's of the world, and shame on any progressive House member who doesn't vote for this bill it because it doesn't go far enough. They have sick constituents who are counting on them. The writing is on the wall; it's the end of the march of the wealthy. Democrats need to grasp their moment and run with it.
Seize the day, DemsÃÂ or...you're fired!
Rosalyn Williams, Ellicott City
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