A little over a year into his Presidency and Obama has managed to do what none of his predecessors were able to do, overhaul the nation’s health care system. Since the days of FDR to Truman to Clinton and almost every President in between all have attempted to improve the country’s health care system and all have failed, until now.
The desire to provide affordable coverage to all Americans has been on President Obama’s agenda since the very beginning of his campaign for the Presidency. In a dramatic Sunday vote, the House approved 219 to 213 a bill identical to one already passed in the Senate and cementing Obama’s legacy as the President who managed to get health care reform. The historical legislature, which was signed into law by the President today is meant to provide coverage for approximately 32 million of the nation’s uninsured.
It is no secret that health care costs have sky rocketed in the last decade with no apparent signs of slowing down. This was definitely the time for health care reform. With many Americans still out of work as a result of the poor economic times, many individuals forego health coverage because they cannot afford it. When having to choose between putting food on the table and having health insurance the latter takes a back seat. Yet, there are others who have been dropped by their carriers because of pre-existing conditions or because the treatment of the disease has reached its coverage cap. The new bill prevents insurance companies from such practices. On Sunday evening, the President sought to place the day in perspective.
“In the end what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American dream,” the president said after the legislation passed. “Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us. When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challenges. We overcame them. We did not avoid our responsibilities, we embraced it. We did not fear our future, we shaped it.”
With the passing of the Health Care Reform bill, President Obama did what he set out to do. He has ensured that health care for every American is a right and not just a privilege for those that can afford it. While he still faces critical backlash from many Republicans, it is important to remember that the number of uninsured individuals in the country does put a financial burden on the nation as a whole. Is the bill expensive? Yes. Will it take years before we start realizing any savings in health care? Yes. But to sit back and not do anything is the way of the cowardly. Sometimes one has to do what is necessary and not what is popular.