winning

In some ways, it seems like the 2008 election was a lifetime ago. It hasn’t even been 18 months.

Barack Obama has been president for less than 15 months. They may have been the longest 14 months of my life. Longer even than the 14 months that both of my pregnancies seemed to last.

I was in a bar on Sunday night with two other people that I work with, while the Congress was voting on health care reform. We were all glued to our phones, getting texts, emails & calls, and (at least in my case) reading tweets from people who were live-tweeting the vote count. When the vote passed, we were hugging and toasting, and generally being overall joyous.

I am disappointed by the results of the health care debate. I’m disappointed that the health insurance industry managed to scare so many people, and to gut some important provisions of the bill.

I am elated that health care reform passed. I am overjoyed that the health insurance industry, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome of the legislative process, did not get to have a Harry & Louise moment this time.

Right after the election, I wrote a post that described the price my family paid because of my decision to spend six months of 2008 working to get Barack Obama elected, and what I expected to get for that effort, to compensate us for that price. On Inauguration Day, I wrote another post, committing to help make change.

President Obama, I consider that debt paid in full (though I’m still hoping for an end to the Iraq War, and a de-escalation in Afghanistan). I did not work for you because of your winning smile or your eloquent ability to string some sentences together (although they didn’t hurt). I did it because I wanted to make the world a better place for my children, and I believed that you were the candidate most likely to fight for that change.

I’m glad that you kept fighting, even when I disagreed with the compromises you were making. At the end of the day, it feels like we have hope again. Change feels possible, again.

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March 24, 2010. '08 election, politically motivated.

6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth replied:

    This post made me cry, just a little.

  2. elise replied:

    I know that most of the people who were scared or angry will never admit that they were worried about nothing, but maybe at least they will eventually see that health care reform is a good thing. I have the federal employee health care plan and I did think to myself “I hope they don’t screw up my coverage when they have health care reform” but I knew MORE IMPORTANT than my little life was the the country as a whole!! I am happy for all the people in our country whether they were angry and scared or not. I think they just didn’t know better.

  3. elise replied:

    PS Many of the changes that happened were things I already had! I always would wonder how insurance companies could get away with what they did. I thought if the government can get such a good deal for it’s employees, why not the rest of the citizens?

  4. Chef Bill replied:

    Like you, I regret that more substantive and radical health care reform did not pass; I still think that single payer is the way to go. However, I’m glad that President Obama was able to channel his inner LBJ to get this major legislation passed. “This is what change looks like,” he said. I agree. It’s not pretty, it’s nowhere near complete but it’s a start.

    I want to personally thank you for the sacrifices you made to help get the President elected.

  5. Jennifer replied:

    I have almost commented on this thread several times and then stopped. Let me just say that I’m surprised to hear you’re so happy.

    If my stay-at-home dad of a brother-in-law qualifies for *good* discounted insurance because of this bill, then I’ll celebrate. Frankly I don’t believe it. They strike me as being dirt poor but I bet they won’t qualify for the discount because they’re a family of 3, not a family of 4. (The company that employs my sister covers her insurance and her son’s, but not her husband’s. He bought catastrophic insurance for himself.)

    We shall see, eh?

  6. Jennifer (ponderosa) replied:

    OK, so, I have been doing a TON of reading on this and it looks like my niece and nephew, who are recent college grads w/ low-paying unskilled jobs, would qualify for Medicaid, which is good news.

    The mistrust people out here have of the government is pretty shocking, really.

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