The passage and signing of the Health Care Bill last month will benefit numbers of people in need of medical attention. It is not a “cure all.” It is far from fully inclusive. It is not perfect. It is a good beginning. It is not wise to use it for political grandstanding by either party. And, it is now the law of the land. It deserves time and study before it is condemned out of hand.
How the new law is going to be implemented will come in the months and year ahead. What is unique and good about a democracy is the protection it gives to its minorities and minority legislators. Attorneys general for 15 states (at this writing) plan to sue, saying the Health Care Bill, according to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, is unconstitutional.
“When the Tenth Amendment was originally proposed, the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states; it applied only to federal law. States had their own constitutions and their own bills of rights. Some states also had slavery, which was protected under the Tenth Amendment. The American Civil War made it clear that this wasn’t a workable system, so the Fourteenth Amendment extended the Bill of Rights and made it applicable to both state and federal law. For this reason, the Tenth Amendment, while still relevant, no longer holds as much power as it once did.” (Source: www.about.com, Civil Liberties.)
Well over a year was spent by President Barack Obama to make the bill as partisan as possible. Numbers of citizens considered such attempts as a waste of time. Since the election in November 2008, the party of opposition has not been in a mood to cooperate. The opposition professed a desire to help the country, but usually found a way to opt out.
No one likes to lose. This is evident from a game of marbles or dominoes to soccer moms, beauty contests and political elections. For some, the losing of the last presidential election has yet to be accepted as having actually happened.
The opposition’s persistent belittling of the newly passed law is disingenuous. Such remarks as have been expressed on the floor of Congress and in media interviews border on the hypocritical, blaming the majority for “pulling the wool” over the people’s eyes.
In my memory, not since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, has there been so much ignorant slander aimed at a Democratic Party president. Both the political party faithful and even the non-voters, let FDR have it with both barrels. In Dad’s barbershop and around the coffee gatherings, FDR was blamed for everything. (Sixty-nine years later, some still believe FDR was behind the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, giving him an excuse to enter the Second World War.)
Opinion writer Frank Rich (New York Times March 28, 2010), expressed the present situation with these words:
“If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House – topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman – would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”
Citizens may or may not like certain laws (car insurance, auto belts and child seats or restrictions on smoking) but disagreeing or disliking them does not take them off the books.
Britt Towery is a former missionary, freelance writer and published author of “Carey Daniel’s China Jewell, story of the Gal from Buffalo Gap.” His columns are published in the Bulletin on Fridays. He welcomes reader feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other columns are available on his Web site, www.britt-towery.