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That Bill That Passed


So, it actually happened.
Democrats in the House of Representatives achieved a legislative landmark Sunday night that has eluded generations of lawmakers before them – reshaping the American health care system to extend insurance coverage to nearly 32 million people and halt industry practices that discriminate against the sick.

Sunday’s House vote on a Senate reform plan represents the climatic finale to a yearlong saga that has taken its toll on the president and his party – one that had dimmed Barack Obama’s once-incandescent star and now sets up an uncertain postscript for his Democratic colleagues headed for reelection fights in the fall.

The 219-212 vote, with no Republicans voting yes and 34 Democrats voting no, nonetheless secures a historic win for Obama while providing his party with some much-needed momentum after a long, grueling slog that has Democrats playing defense in the run-up to the midterm elections.
I must admit that when I woke up this morning, the national health care debate was not the first thought in my mind. But, after showering, getting some coffee and brushing off the fog of slumber, I found a text message on my phone.

The message was from B-Diddy (do you remember him -- hell, do you remember me?!) and it contained only one word:
Unbelievable.
Now, in my groggy, early morning state-of-mind, I had no idea what he was talking about. I was not readily recalling is opinions on health care.

Then I got into my car to head to work.

NPR was (understandably) buzzing about the bill that was passed yesterday. As were both Twitter and Facebook, once I logged on.

Liberals are rejoicing. Conservatives are whining. And moderates, like me, are basically confused.

You see, there has been, and still is, way too much misinformation traveling around out in the informational ether. Rachel Maddow and the folks on the left would have you believe that this reform is fantastic and will both help the working class in this country and strike a blow to the overpaid, overfed and overly-profitable insurance giants in America. Glenn Beck and the like are saying that this is communism, socialism, fascism and any other scary-sounding -ism of which you can think.

I'm not convinced that either description is accurate.

To both sides of the argument I say, "really?" The bill was just passed last night and it doesn't actually take effect until... wait for it... 2014.

I know that health care is a touchy subject for many people. I get that. I understand that people will be debating this topic for years and years to come. And I think that is a good thing -- as long as things stay reasonably civil.

However, I'm a wait-and-see kind of guy. Sure, the bill passed -- but how many more hurdles will health care have to jump before the bill actually takes effect -- in 2014 (or later)? I'm not convinced that anything will be different than it currently is.

I'll believe that health care has truly been reformed when I see it at my doctor's office. Until then it will be business as usual, as far as I'm concerned.