As I write this, the House of Representatives is enacting President Obama‘s watered-down, barely-worth-the-name health care legislation with no single-payer and no public option. It’s 11:07 pm, and the favoring vote tally just went over 216. Better than nothing and fine as far as it goes, but more than a bit of a letdown for some of us.
“This is about as interesting as it gets in politics,” MSNBC commentator Ed Schultz has just said. “The Democrats now own — lock, stock, and barrel — health care reform in America.”
“Congress gave final approval on Sunday to legislation that would provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans,” the N.Y. Times story says, “and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines proposed by President Obama.
“Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan said that anti-abortion Democrats were satisfied with a proposed executive order “to ensure that federal funds are not used for abortion services.”
“By a vote of 219 to 212, the House passed the bill after a day of tumultuous debate that echoed the epic struggle of the last year. The action sent the bill to President Obama, whose crusade for such legislation has been a hallmark of his presidency.
“Democrats hailed the vote as historic, comparable to the establishment of Medicare and Social Security and a long overdue step forward in social justice. ‘This is the civil rights act of the 21st century,’ said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.”