The President of the United States and the Democratic leadership in the United States House got what they wanted late Sunday night. By a vote of 219-212, the so called health care reform bill, championed by the President and virtually written by big lobbyists was passed.
The bill was unprecedented. The President of the United States cancelled foreign trips and even went to the Capitol on Saturday to push the bill. President Obama staked his credibility on the passage of the bill. The President got the passage, but at what cost?
The bill, despite the sunshine and light statement of the President after its passage, does not give his core supporters what they want. The bill also flies in the face of the right’s interpretation of the constitution. Frankly, over the next few days and weeks, the members of Congress who voted for the bill will finally find out what was in the bill that they voted for. Lawyers stand ready to litigate on behalf of states and individuals.
Perhaps never before in American history has a bill that so effected so many Americans been passed in a strictly partisan fashion without consideration of future litigation and the like. The President wanted it above all else, and he got it.
But, just what did the President get? The President got a bill that seems to be written by health care insurance lobbyists. Even Presidential supporters like Professor Cornel West talk of how the President “cut a deal” with big insurance. With the side deals to members of Congress and goodies for the insurance companies, without addressing the real costs factors of health care, the President got a bill that the American people did not want and frankly will not do what the President contends it will.
Assuming that the President is an honorable man and actually believes in the bill that was passed, it appears that President Obama is incredibly weak. That weakness was symbolic on Saturday, when President Obama was treated as if he was just some Congressional leader at the press appearance on Capitol Hill. The President even spoke from a lectern that donned the seal of Congress, not his own seal.
Indeed, with the way the President cancelled his trip, and played the part of the salesman on Capitol Hill, it seems that on the issue of health care that the Democratic leaders of the legislative branch, and the lobbyists who line their pockets, rule the day. Now, it rests with the judicial branch to defend the American people from this seemingly unconstitutional violation of the American people’s lives.