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|The 11/3 Project|
Was Olivier any greater?
I think not!
President Obama exhorted Democrats on Saturday to approve a sweeping overhaul of health care and to “answer the call of history” as the House began debating legislation that would transform the nation’s health insurance system.
Democrats quickly took a significant step toward passage of the plan by surmounting a key procedural hurdle in approving the rules for debate.
Despite a sharp party divide over how strictly to limit spending for abortions, leading Democrats were increasingly confident they had locked up the necessary support for the measure. A handful of undecided lawmakers announced they were ready to back it.
“We are on the cusp of making a historical decision on behalf of the American people,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.
Mr. Obama made a rare weekend appearance on Capitol Hill as part of an all-out effort to rally Democrats to support the biggest health care legislation since the creation of Medicare for the elderly in 1965.
Democrats say their $1.1 trillion, 10-year measure would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance and end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.
During the private meeting with Democrats in the Cannon Caucus Room, the president acknowledged the political difficulty of supporting major legislation in the face of unanimous Republican opposition and tough criticism from conservatives.
But, those present said, he urged them on, saying, “When I sign this in the Rose Garden, each and every one of you will be able to look back and say, ‘This was my finest moment in politics.’ ”
That sentiment drew a cheer, senior aides in the room said.
The House debate opened after months of internal party wrangling, angry town-hall-style meetings and committee deliberations and Republicans were united in their criticism of the measure, describing it as a government take-over of health care that would damage the economy at a weak moment.
“This bill is a wrecking ball to the entire economy,” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia. “ We need targeted specific reforms to help people who have fallen through the health care cracks.”
I’ve no doubt you and all the other Republicans will be sure to toss them a rope to pull themselves out of those cracks. No?
“Kill the bill!” a few protesters yelled, egged on by a woman with a megaphone.
“You’ll be starting a civil war, you fascist tyrant!” yelled Andrew Beacham, 27, of nearby Falls Church, Va.
Mr. Beacham, his hair in a ponytail, said in an interview that he believed Mr. Obama was a fascist because, he asserted, the bill would force Americans to pay for abortions and for government-provided health care. Reminded that Americans have long contributed to and benefited from Medicare and Medicaid, Mr. Beacham replied, “I would favor getting rid of both of them, and Social Security, too. They’re all going broke anyway.”
A freelance producer of film documentaries, Mr. Beacham said he did not have health insurance. “When I need health care, I pay for it out of pocket,” he said, adding that he did not fear the possibility that an accident or illness would leave him with unaffordable bills. “I’m a Christian, so I’m not afraid of death,” he said.
Neither were the Muslims who crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I sincerely hope you’ll afford yourself the nearest opportunity to TAKE THE GAS PIPE in order to be with your Big Invisible Bi-Polar Daddy Who Lives in The Sky tout suite.
As for the rest of us, it’s fairly obvious that the Health Care Bill that’s heading for passage will provide more in the way of “care” to the insurance companies than it will to mere mortals.
Lip us out Bernie