Ronald Reagan, in 1961, predicted the passage of the Medicare bill would mark the end of American Freedom!
by Charlie Leck
“If you don’t, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until one day as Normal Thomas said we will wake to find that we have socialism, and if you don’t do this and I don’t do this, one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.” [Ronald Reagan, 1961]
Was last night's vote on a health care reform bill a historical moment in American History? Time will tell, of course.
Just remember the above words of Reagan when you hear the doomsday predictions out of Republicans in the next several weeks. Our nation is in desperate need of health care reform. We can’t afford to keep going as we are, with vital health care decisions left in the hands of insurance companies and corporations that stand to make mega profits without concern for the real health of the nation and those who cannot afford their exorbitant fees.
I was pleased with the courage and energy President Obama showed in the last few weeks, when he determined that he would go it alone – without Republican support or cooperation, that is – and pass the best health care reform bill he could possibly usher through Congress.
Those of us who voted for him, must sit back now and admit that he did the very best that he could with what he had.
It is certainly not what I envisioned when I listened to him campaign throughout 2007 and 2008. It is not what I heard Hilary Clinton promise on the stump a number of times.
And, it is certainly not what most progressives, including the one who taps out these words on his keyboard now, wanted for America.
It will take some long days of study to really see what we will get out of this mish-mash; and I will begin today my study of the bill that the President will sign and send over to the Senate for reconciliation. Be aware that the Republicans will cry and scream about the unfairness and treachery of the reconciliation process. As they do, please don’t forget that they, in the last two decades, also used this process to pass some extremely questionable bills that favored the wealthy.
For now, I am just going to hail the President who fought the good fight and spoke the truth to the American people and the men and women of his political party. His comments to gathered Democrats this past Saturday, may be regarded by history as the words of a courageous and honest President. I was terribly moved by them:
“Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made ... And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.”
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, indeed!