Step 1: The vote -- by this time Christmas Eve, health care reform will be on way
It might seem like it's all anyone is talking about these days -- who is voting, who is dealing and who is blowing smoke when it comes to the health care reform bill.
So, it is no surprise that there likely will be a whole lot more commentary as the final vote in the Senate approaches tomorrow morning.
The fact that it is likely already a done deal means that the news itself will not be significant. There are few who think the partisan divide that has characterized the debate on this legislation in the Senate will be bridged overnight.
So after what seems likely to be merely a procedural vote, the measure will head on over to the House for more negotiations and a new round of controversy as Democrats and Republicans alike try to come up with a workable solution to a health care crisis that most agree is an issue that needs to be resolved.
Fasten your seatbelts. While the Senate vote seemed like it might go fairly well, the House battle could very well be a much bumpier ride.
And then there are the rest of us -- ordinary citizens puzzled by the fact that with the majority of Americans sure they want something done about health care, but equally sure that they do not trust that this health care plan will do anything except make it worse, that legislators seem to be doing what is best for their political parties and ignoring the calls and letters from their constituents.
And there is not contentment and sunshine on either side. There are those who think the health care reform bill does not go far enough and is only a charade of a reform, and certainly not what is needed to fix the health care issues. They don't think anybody is listening to them, either.
The good news is that something can be done about this mess -- even if the stars align and there is a passage of a health care reform bill in the new year.
All it will take is a trip to the voting booth.
For some reason, there seems to be this idea in Washington that legislators know better -- even though in many cases they are so far removed from real life that they could not possibly understand the trials and tribulations normal Americans face.
It is time we remind them, again, for whom they work.
Published in Editorials on December 23, 2009 11:45 AM