Ok, let me make a couple of things clear: Nancy Pelosi is indeed a rockstar, and I sincerely hope that this bill does a lot of good for some people.
That being said, some folks who usually say pretty smart things on the left have gone off their nutter: Ezra's all on about how special interests have died, when special interests like the insurance industry LOVE this bill, because it forces us to all buy into a really corrupt, fucked up system, so . . . perhaps he has hit his head? And Yglesias thinks Obama is going the be the BEST! PRESIDENT! EVER! when really, I think the White House handled this TERRIBLY, and considering a supermajority of the American people wanted the public option, it's pretty clear how they let the message and the bill get away from them, and this fucker passed despite the White House using the pretending-to-be-deer-in-headlights approach (which is really the never-wanted-anything-but-the-corporate-interests-to-be-happy approach) they have adopted on everything since taking power (like, come on guys, go back Eric Holder up already, jesus).
And, in theory, we cannot all* be kicked off our health insurance for pre-existing conditions, except there's no legal mechanism in this bill to prevent this happening, and I assure you those health insurance industry lawyers are already writing the holes into the law before the ink has dried. Also, women got thrown under the bus. Which, it makes you wonder what "people" this bill is supposed to help, when we are not yet at the point where "people" includes those of the female persuasion, too.
Ultimately, I wish I could be happier about this, but it's not a very good bill, and it just reminds me of how inexorably broken the American political system is. Like, we had a Democratic president and control of both houses. And there was a supermajority who wanted a REAL fix to healthcare, with a public option. But the politicians compromised a real possibility to get at the root of the problem, and instead gave us as far from what we all wanted and need as possible. This is not a healthcare bill. It is health insurance reform. And then, of course, there's my worry that 10 years down the line, when we realize this bill didn't go far enough, then the Republicans will have control of the government and be all SEE SOCIALISM IT FAILED and then we will all go bankrupt from our health expenses after we've been refused coverage because we got that cold once.
In public interest organizations in DC, there is a strong belief that, no matter what human rights or civil liberties or justice thing you want to achieve or prevent, you hope the issue will NEVER go through Congress, because Congress will inevitably just fuck it up. Those of us doing counterterrorism and national security law and human rights have been praying to our dear and fuzzy lord that there will never be a detention bill, because it will just be terrible. And the health insurance reform bill is a good example of this. Remember when we were all idealistic on the left and saying, right after Obama was elected, well, ok, since we probably can't get single payer, then at least we'll get public option? And then Congress worked on this for months? And lookit what we got in the end.
I am not necessarily saying this bill SHOULD NOT have passed. I am saying THIS BILL should not have passed. And it deeply saddens me that an opportunity to help all American people has been frittered away.
Which means no matter how exhausted we are from this bullshit, and I know we are exhausted, the fight is yet to come. Get a good night's sleep tonight. But tomorrow, we must pick up our weapons again, my fellow angels. It's time for us make this right.
* Ok, which is actually not true. We cannot be the victims of rescission ONLY if we are under 19. So, like, everyone reading this is fucked. And I want to point out, under this bill, I could still be denied coverage if I had reported my rape, because rape is still considered a pre-existing condition, and that won't change under this crappy bit of legislation. Just another reason why I am not so thrilled here with this bill (and, I know the Senate may change it, reconciliation, blah blah, but we're not gonna get a public option, the Senate is a circus filled with clowns, so whatever).
Although, given the chance, I maybe wouldn't mind passing a bill like this every week just to throw these ignorant assclowns into a tizzy. I heart the Tea Party video so hard.