Depending on who you ask, the long national nightmare that is Obama’s health care bill is either finally over or just beginning. In the aftermath of its passage, Nancy Pelosi has gotten even more annoying. Fox News has transformed into Jack Nicholson during the last half-hour of "The Shining." The Republican Party’s credibility has been almost completely obliterated. No matter what you think about this bill, this is an extremely important piece of legislation. The success or failure of Obama’s presidency will hinge on the success or failure of this bill.
Our health care system is broken. No intelligent person can possibly say that it isn’t. So any piece of legislation, even one with major problems like this one might have, is a risk that has to be taken. America is a country that is defined by risk. The Declaration of Independence was a risk. Creating a democratic government was a risk. So was ending slavery, the New Deal, the Civil Rights Act, and Roe v. Wade. All of these things had possibly negative repercussions attached to them, but they needed to happen because progress is what drives a nation forward. You don’t get anywhere in life if you play it safe all the time.
Opponents of the bill have been saying that this bill shouldn’t pass because the American people oppose it. That is a legitimate argument. Here is my counterargument. I’m a strong believer in voting and getting your voice heard and all that, but there’s one problem with listening to polls: people are stupid. Just because a lot of people oppose something doesn’t mean they’re right. If you want proof, look at Proposition 8. Also, back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, I’m sure that most people were opposed to desegregation as well. If we only did things that the majority of the American people supported, then America would be a completely different place.
But this leads to something else that has been bothering me about the current bill, and that is the concept of compromise. The bill raises an interesting question: Do you go for your goals even if there’s no chance they’ll come to fruition, or do you sacrifice some of your goals to make sure that the rest of them come to reality?
Obama and the other Democrats had a grand plan for health care; one that included a public option among other things. But they knew that they had to compromise with the Republicans and conservative Democrats in order to get some version of the bill passed (even with all these concessions, not a single Republican voted for the bill. Again, the GOP sucks). I don’t like the fact that the Democrats so easily bent to the will of the opposition, but I guess they were so desperate to get this done that they just didn’t care anymore.
So how will this bill affect us? I honestly don’t know. There are so many theories about how it will save America or how it will destroy it that it’s hard to keep track. Of course people will keep harping about how socialist it is (even though it isn’t), how Obama is a tyrant (if he calls for legislation that can save people’s lives, he’s a pretty lousy one), and all of that other annoying babble that refuses to cease. Honestly, all we can do right now is wait and see.