Democrats take health care one vote at a time
It wasn’t quite Grand Final day for health care reform today, but the excited atmosphere surrounding the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote was something close. Call it a semi-final, perhaps; one that ended with a 220-215 final score in favour of passing H.R. 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act. 219 Democrats voted for the bill, and one Republican: Joseph Cao, a Louisianan representing a heavily Democratic district, who won election against an opponent who was under indictment on corruption charges at the time.
That makes it sound easy, but anyone who has heard the adage that watching the creation of legislation is like seeing a sausage get made can guess that something as contentious as health care reform was no cakewalk. As with a big game, it all kicked off when House Democrats were given a pep talk from Coach Barack Obama, who told his team, “When I’m in the Rose Garden signing a piece of legislation to give health care to all Americans, we’ll look back and say that was our finest moment.” I like to imagine his speech was followed up with one from Offensive Coordinator Rahm Emanuel, warning, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” (Or perhaps, “If you lose, you’re out of the family”).
I’ve had a great time watching the health care action on C-Span’s online feed (yes, really). You can read my wrap-up over at the USSC blog.