Hallelujah! Praise to the God of mercy!
The House passed the healthcare reform bill tonight, 220 in favor to 215 against.
What a gift to each of us, just before Thanksgiving Day. In so many homes as the prayers of thanks are made, this new opportunity to have health care will be first on the list.
Many compromises were made to gain these 220 votes. The single-payer proposal was given up months ago, and an amendment was passed today prohibiting federally subsidized insurance plans from providing legal abortions.
I care about access to abortion, but I care even more about access to health care period.
I listened to the debate on CSPAN as opponents of reform tried to use the abortion issue and the immigration issue to sink this bill. Giving up ground on these issues was a painful but necessary strategy for now. Perhaps the Senate version of the bill and the final bill that arrives on President Obama's desk will restore some of this lost ground.
With this historic decision by the House of Representatives, pressure is now on the Senate to meet the challenge and approve health care reform.
Will the Republicans and a few blue-dog Democrats succeed in stopping progress?
I pray that won't happen--but after the defeat of the ERA in 1982, I realize that votes in favor of equality and opportunity are not guaranteed.