US House Democrats, after last night's historic vote.
Forgive me for not celebrating. While I realize that this bill is a giant step forward towards providing affordable health care for Americans, I cannot get past the insulting and degrading Stupak amendment. Just can't do it. Yes, we live to fight another day, it may be stripped from the final product, it may be challenged in court, etc. and so on - but to me this is yet another example of how Democrats will throw large portions of their base overboard to appease the wingnuts, and that is a sure-fire recipe for defeat in 2010. Mark my words.
One step forward, two steps back.
I do want to congratulate Rep. Dingell, who has spent a lifetime on this issue:
Democrats wavering on the health care bill will have their heart-strings tugged by the man overseeing today's planned vote: Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the Dean of the House of Representatives and the longest-serving member in history.
Dingell's late father, also a congressman, introduced the first bill to provide national health insurance in 1933, and his son has continued a tradition started by his father by introducing health care legislation at the beginning of every session of Congress.
Rep. Dingell last led debate on a vote on April 8, 1965, the day the House passed legislation creating Medicare, according to his office.
In April of 1965, my 20 year-old mother was 7 months pregnant with me, getting ready to move back to Grand Rapids from Chicago. Today, I'm wearing reading glasses to type this. 'Nuff said.
I also want to give a big shout-out and deep, heart-felt thanks to Congressman Mark Schauer, who would have every excuse in the world to bow to the pressure of the "conservative" talking points - and yet he does not. Schauer is a stand-up guy, no matter what the personal cost. If you are so inclined, throw a little love the Congressman's way, because you know the crazies will be out in full force after him...
Today America took an important, historic step towards fixing our broken health care system... but the battle doesn't end here. I promise to keep fighting until the President signs a bill that offers every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. And with your continued support, I know we'll get the job done.
The battle is not over, the battle is never over, and we need to support those that will keep fighting for progress.
Now on to the Senate, where it's anybody's guess as to what happens next...