Mar. 21st, 2010

The most recent poll for Le Figaro has the PS-led left unity list and the Presidential Majority list both at 43.5% of the vote. The left might end up with a full sweep after all.
People often seem to wonder why I pay attention to American politics at all, especially when I theoretically don't even have a horse in this race. They may be able to excuse foreign policy, but health care reform?

Health care is a basic human right — take a look at articles 22 and 25.1 in the Universal Declaration if you don't believe me. That means that there are 46.3 million people in the United States alone lacking that basic right. Among them are my ex-fiancé and my oldest friend online, who would be paying insane sums of money every month if they didn't live in places that already provide them with shoestring health care, and who wouldn't be buried under crushing mounds of debt if they'd been properly insured. And they're the lucky ones.

Is this a good bill? Of course not. It's deeply flawed and compromised, merely kicking the can down the road. On the other hand, this is lightyears ahead of the previous "there is no can" handwaving — the problem has been acknowledged and there being any legislation at all is a miracle. After all, this agenda item is older than any of the seated Democrats in the House. Simply passing it would be a historic turning point.

In fact, it's the turning point. Electoral victories are worthless if they don't result in actual policy changes. What use is it to have House, Senate and Presidency in blue hands if they can't pass their key reform? Democratic credibility absolutely hinges on this bill. The Bush hangover will fade, and the swing to the left will reverse itself unless the Democrats anchor it down by actually implementing their program.

And that's not a miracle solution, but it's a start. Just like the bill itself.

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Julianna Lacroix

July 2010

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