House Democrats approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health system on Sunday, voting over unanimous Republican opposition to provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans after an epic political battle that could define the differences between the parties for years.It's about as close to a done deal as it gets without actually being a done deal.
With the 219-to-212 vote, the House gave final approval to legislation passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve. Thirty-four Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill. The vote sent the measure to President Obama, whose yearlong push for the legislation has been the centerpiece of his agenda and a test of his political power.
I love this headline: McCain repulsed by health care bill 'euphoria.' LOL.
There are some truly important pieces of reform in this legislation, ten of which that take immediate effect Karoli details here, like, for instance: "No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage" and "No more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can't lose your insurance because you get sick." Good stuff, that.
And I wish I could be undilutedly happy about it. But I can't.
Because, to get it done, President Obama promised to "issue an executive order on abortion after the House approves the health-care bill assuring that no federal funds would be used to subsidize the procedure." And so he did.
I have detailed my objections to this Hyde Amendment bullshit many, many, many times before, and I'm not going to waste my time doing it again. I will merely agree with NOW President Terry O'Neill that the President's decision to use the full weight of his office to capitulate to anti-choice Democrats "breaks faith with women."
Laying aside the practical realities of withholding federal funds from women who need them for a legal medical procedure, the symbolism of this maneuver is horrendously illiberal and, frankly, un-American. The Hyde Amendment has been more deeply entrenched by presidential fiat, and the bodily autonomy of half the population of this country has been once again treated like a bargaining chip by the one party who claims to defend their equality.
The profundity of my contempt is cavernous.