In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
That is exactly what the historic health care legislation proved on Sunday before the eyes of millions of disenfranchised taxpayers who have been waiting on the government for five decades to finally deliver what was a historical and moral obligation.
For too long this much needed change was locked in the belly of the beast, victimized by partisan politics and shackled by the ultra egos of politicians who are so self-centered that they cannot look beyond themselves to see the suffering that their constituents are going through.
On Sunday we saw a courageous move to finally include the least of these in our communities, those who because of their financial and social standing don’t have access to better health care.
We witnessed the gradual but powerful change that the election of President Barack Obama promised, and some who have long been skeptical about government’s delivery to its people because of the ever-present double-talk of politicians can now agree that America indeed is changing for the better.
The welfare of the nation is now being taken care of because those who have lost their jobs due to the economic tsunami brought about by Wall Street and as a result instantly lost their health insurance can breath a sigh of relief.
And those disadvantaged communities that have historically lagged behind every other upgrade because of an unequal playing field amassed with the stench of racism that they have had to battle, can gradually begin to free themselves from the statistics of health disparities.
The insurance practice that places a premium on how much money you have instead of how sick you are and need treatment will soon end and these communities will have access to health care. With this legislation more money will be pumped into community health centers to meet the crucial needs of the uninsured and low-income earners.
The nation elected a community organizer as president, and Obama understands the depth of the health care crisis that is ravaging communities across the nation and that to solve it requires a from-the-bottom-up approach. To wake up the next day after the legislation passed and realize that your insurance company can no longer cancel your policy or deny you coverage for a preexisting condition is a major step forward.
Small businesses that have always been the driver of the economy can now claim a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the cost of providing health insurance for their employees. Children can now be covered under their parents’ plan up to age 26 and senior citizens under Medicare will get a $250 rebate beginning this year.
President Barack Obama did what President Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman failed to do in more than half a century.
Obama has boldly opened the doors for meaningful health care to some 32 million people who will now be treated with respect and receive the full measure of the right to life — just like every member of Congress and those with deep pockets do — when they get sick.
Tragically, the GOP opposition from the beginning of the health care debate was not about cost even as they tried to hide behind figures.
A Republican lawmaker had reminded us from the genesis of the debate that if the GOP can successfully kill any health reform that comes from the president, it will be Obama’s Waterloo. They can now in fact cripple his presidency and accomplish what right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh echoed after the inauguration — that he wants Obama to fail.