Affirming that America’s “core principle” is “that everyone should have some security when it comes to healthcare,” President Obama signed healthcare reform into law.
To shouts of “Fire it up, ready to go” and “Nancy, Nancy” (referring to Speaker Pelosi), Democratic members of Congress took this morning for deserved celebration, even though they know that the hard work is just beginning as they immediately begin reconciliation between the House and the Senate as well as the work to quell public discontent, on both the right and the left, with this legislation.
President Obama praised both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid for their efforts in moving the legislation through Congress. Reid, who has been criticized for his Chistmas Eve backroom deals, raised Pelosi’s hand in victory.
Thirty-six states are now objecting, using the Consititution, to the personal mandate which will now require everyone to purchase a private health insurance policy or face penalty through the IRS of a fine or possible jailtime. The personal mandate will likely come before the Supreme Court.
Obama signed healthcare reform “on behalf of my mother” who was and still is a source of inspiration for the President.
Vice-President Joe Biden, who introduced the president and called today “historic,” quoted the poet Virgil that “the greatest wealth is health.” This is obviously a reference to the fact that America’s economy has not been able to compete on the global stage because it has been the only industrialized nation to not provide healthcare for its citizens.
“We don’t fall prey to fear,” President Obama said this morning before using two dozen pens to sign the bill. This legislation has been possibly the most contentious and controversial in modern American history. Fear-mongering and misinformation, including paid-for propaganda by the health insurance industry to try to defeat this legislation, has left the majority of us confused.
Although the bill is not perfect – and needs a lot of work – it’s a start to be able to make quality healthcare available to everyone, not just those who can afford it. The best thing all of us can do is to watch how legislators work out problems with it, like the personal mandate, and to stay active, providing our input to our representatives.