This was no rehearsal. The future of Healthcare reform was already poised on a knife edge, and along with it, was his future.
An Historic Day
The twenty first day of March 2010 will likely go down in US history as the day when America took a more compassionate view concerning the living welfare of it’s citizens. If on this day, voting in the House and later in the week in the Senate, go as anticipated, everything the Republicans threatened, will be recognised for what it truly was. As empty political threats, based on a flawed misreading of the needs of the American people. A GOP attempt to deny ordinary citizens healthcare benefits, that they as politicians receive as a matter of special privilege.
The Democratic Revival
While the process of delivering the largest financial bill since Medicare has been tense and terribly untidy over the past 15 months, the dedication and teamwork of the Democratic congressional leadership team of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid has been outstanding. Delivery of this long awaited reform to America’s Healthcare system, should by November, enable Democrats to increase their representation in Congress on the back of such an important victory against all the odds and predictions of the naysayers.
Better Late than Never
While the President was unduly late in entering the legislative fray, the inspirational magic and pragmatism of Barack Obama has at last provided a foundation for Healthcare reform which in due course will be further improved once the benefits of the initial Healthcare model become apparent and take effect. It was always clear that the Republicans would fight hard against passing Healthcare reform for political reasons, in the misguided belief that it would kill any chance of an Obama second term in the White House in 2012. They appear to have failed.
In retrospect, Healthcare supporters with tongue in cheek, should thank Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House minority leader John Boehner, for delivering what can only be described as Obama’s ” baptism of fire ” during his yearling year in the White House. As if through an epiphany, the final weeks of the Healthcare debate brought home to the President, in no uncertain terms, the reality that the Republicans were never going to support an Obama Healthcare plan, no matter how much sense it made, and no matter how much he might have preferred genuine bipartisan input for such an important bill.
A Steep Learning Curve
Throughout 2009, it had become obvious to many supporters and others, that Barack Obama in his first year as President, did not seem to appreciate the difference in leadership style and application between that of being a successful candidate and those skills requisite to becoming a successful leader and President. It must have come as a shock and obviously it took time to absorb. When Obama finally got the message, he realised he was to going to have to learn and adjust quickly. His Presidency was heading towards a cliff. This was no rehearsal. The future of Healthcare reform was already poised on a knife edge, and along with it, was his future.
A Rude Awakening
Early in 2009 Republican’s recognised Obama’s reluctance to be involved in shaping the Healthcare bill and they capitalised on his failure to engage in the debate and be clear about his legislative preferences. By December 2009, with Healthcare reform now seemingly on life support, and with time running out, Obama reluctantly accepted that his Presidency was on the line. In response, and with the polls showing his support collapsing, he finally emerged from the Oval Office and publicly set to work in the way only Obama can. The pendulum had started to swing.
Understanding the Job
Whatever the outcome of the vote on this day, the Healthcare issue has delivered a lesson that Barack Obama will value for the entirety of his Presidency. It demonstrated emphatically to the new Commander in Chief, that while Congress makes the Laws, the President not only has the job of selling and explaining his policy, but also the responsibility of overseeing and assisting its passage through Congress. He will be reminded for the rest of his days, that no one ever suggested that being the President of the United States was easy.
The Bigger Picture
The Healthcare Bill will be the first piece of major community legislation that Americans have had reason to celebrate for many a year. The passing of the Healthcare reform package should guarantee President Obama a second term. A prospect which will mean a steady and more battle hardened hand on the tiller of America’s Ship of State until 2016. The President, his Congressional leaders and his supporters worked together to make the Kennedy, Clinton and Obama dream of Healthcare reform a reality. It will long be remembered as a brilliant team effort.
As Americans deal with the formidable challenges ahead, everyone will better understand that nothing of value comes easily. But then again, with faith and the right leadership, all things are possible. Their contribution to the success of delivering Healthcare reform is living proof.
Well done America!