A few moments ago, I was lucky enough to witness history being made. Amid a chorus of cheers and applause, President Obama signed the Health Care Overhaul into law. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, you’ve been watching as Democrats and Republicans raged war over a bill that would change America’s relationship with health care forever. It was down to the wire as the bill passed by the skin of its teeth 220-211 with no support from the Republicans and 43 Democrats voting no.
Still, the atmosphere at the signing was giddy. The president praised and joked with the senators that “took their lumps” in passing the bill.
“Yes we did,” someone exclaimed from the audience which was met with raucous laughter. It was definitely a big day for the Democrats. This was Obama’s victory lap, probably the foundation on which his legacy will be built. He flashed that rock star smile and one couldn’t help but feel the energy. Then the tone turned serious as President Obama, reminded everyone about the reason for the season.
“Today, after almost a century of effort, health insurance reform has become law,” said Obama. He paused to let the weight of that statement sink in. One hundred years of people receiving minimal or subpar health care because they couldn’t afford proper treatment. A century of American parents hoping, wishing, and praying that their child’s cough is only a passing cold and not something more serious.
As I sat there watching, a freelancer for the first time in my life with no discernible health insurance to speak of, I was breathless at the ramifications of this bill. This is the “changey, hopey stuff” that Palin has been so quick to mock as of late, the move in a new direction that people voted for.
As with all change it’s not going to be easy, but as the president stated,”We are not a nation that does what’s easy … we are a nation that faces its challenges and faces its responsibilities.” The road ahead is paved with difficulty, namely a gaggle of states running to file lawsuits claiming the overhaul is unconstitutional. We can’t forget the opposition that’s dead set on getting the bill repealed. And lastly there’s Joe and Jane Public, who is still on the fence about the whole thing, which is why the President will be touring the country to further explain why this is the right move for the nation.
The historic bill that became law, effects have yet to take hold, but there’s a sense of anticipation and apprehension in the air as the country goes through the growing pains of change. What’s your opinion on the Health care overhaul?