The health care reform bill passed yesterday is very, very far from what we would have liked to see. It isn’t single payer, heck it doesn’t even have a public option. The repercussions for the right to choose and for reproductive rights are odious. But today we have a real health care reform package. It will require much work in the future, but at least now we have a way forward.
Over the past 15 months, progressives have grown weary of the President’s call for bipartisanship over getting stuff actually done. But, if this is to be his legacy, he will be enexorably tied to a San Franciscan, our Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. From Mark Greenbaum:
That said, the ratification of health care is an even more impressive victory for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Faced with an endless litany of institutional roadblocks, false starts, ego-centric Members, and plain political pressures, Pelosi was able to wrangle together just enough votes to push reform to the finish line. It is Pelosi who deserves the most credit for seeing health care through. (HuffPo)
And from the Hill:
Nancy Pelosi showed Sunday why she is one of the most powerful Speakers in history. In shepherding one of the most controversial bills through the House, Pelosi achieved what some thought what was impossible after Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts two months ago.
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By leaning on her caucus, Pelosi got a number of yes votes that put her within range of 216. Some of the biggest “yes” votes in recent days were Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Brian Baird (Wash), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Ciro Rodriguez (Texas), Chris Carney (Pa.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), John Boccieri (Ohio), Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.) and Betsy Markey (Colo.).
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Pelosi has long said climate change is her flagship issue, but it is unclear whether that measure will pass while she is Speaker. It is clear, however, that her legacy as Speaker will be forever tied to healthcare reform.
Predictably, the right-wing is taking out its fury on Speaker Pelosi. The RNC’s website has been temporarily replaced with a Fire Pelosi money ask. Flames and everything. Personally, I like the fact that they have a map with the states that gave the most money for the campaign. Shockingly, the ten largest states have given the most money. Yay for the statistics majors at the GOP! Oh, and there’s a teabagger Republican candidate running against Pelosi. Dude’s raised a lot of money too. I say, raise a ton more, saturate SF media with your ads. Maybe you’ll hold Pelosi to 75%.
But this weekend, Pelosi proved more about herself than any other period in her time in Congress. It was her that stiffened the spine of the President to actually get a comprehensive health care reform package. If you’d like to help her out, why not give some money to one of our Red to Blue Candidates. Ami Bera, running against Dan Lungren, and Bill Hedrick, running against Ken Calvert, could use some assistance.