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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fired Up, Ready to Go

As many of my readers may or may not know, I helped a friend move yesterday. I posted nothing, got no news at all, and concentrated on lugging cedar chests and vanities around. I can miss a day... After all, what can happen in just one day?


OK, so something huge can happen if you skip a day. The signing was expected in "the next few days," according to most media sources, so yesterday's events come as no big surprise. Speaking with characteristic caution, Vice President Biden said that this was "a big f--king deal."

From the White House transcript:

Today, I’m signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.

I’m signing it for Ryan Smith, who’s here today. He runs a small business with five employees. He’s trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers. This bill will help him afford that coverage.

I’m signing it for 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who’s also here. (Applause.) Marcelas lost his mom to an illness. And she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed. So in her memory he has told her story across America so that no other children have to go through what his family has experienced. (Applause.)

I’m signing it for Natoma Canfield. Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent. She was terrified that an illness would mean she’d lose the house that her parents built, so she gave up her insurance. Now she’s lying in a hospital bed, as we speak, faced with just such an illness, praying that she can somehow afford to get well without insurance. Natoma’s family is here today because Natoma can’t be. And her sister Connie is here. Connie, stand up. (Applause.)

I’m signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations -- from Teddy Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, from Harry Truman, to Lyndon Johnson, from Bill and Hillary Clinton, to one of the deans who’s been fighting this so long, John Dingell. (Applause.) To Senator Ted Kennedy. (Applause.) And it’s fitting that Ted’s widow, Vicki, is here -- it’s fitting that Teddy’s widow, Vicki, is here; and his niece Caroline; his son Patrick, whose vote helped make this reform a reality. (Applause.)

For their part, Republicans finally accepted defeat... Naw, just kidding. They're going to keep being dicks about it.


Officials from 14 states have gone to court to block the historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, arguing the law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance violates the Constitution.

Thirteen of those officials filed suit in a federal court in Pensacola, Florida, minutes after Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The complaint calls the act an "unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of the states" and asks a judge to block its enforcement.

"The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage," the lawsuit states.

So much for opposing frivolous lawsuits. Never let it be said that Republicans are anything but sore losers. Republicans, who've spent most of the last year conceding absolutely nothing and opposing everything, now complain that the bill isn't bipartisan enough. So, never let it be said that Republicans are honest in their talking points, either.

For their part, Democrats are already seeing a political advantage in passing this reform -- Greg Sargent reports that they've already raised over $2 million in individual contributions since the signing. And they did it without any fundraising campaign. Republicans, with their "Fire Pelosi" campaign have been less successful -- they've raised $1.3 million.

"We’ve always said the worm would turn on this once it passed," a source told Sargent. "We have a lot of work left to do. But how the political landscape has changed on this in the past few days tells you all you need to know why Republicans were so desperate to the point of being apoplectic about this bill passing."

"[T]his underscores why GOP leaders need to keep pounding the 'repeal' drum," Sargent wrote. "The prospect of some sort of action on the horizon, however realistic, remains their best shot at keeping the GOP base energized enough to prevent the Dem base’s energy from keeping pace."

At the signing ceremony, the chant of "fired up, ready to go!" rose. Outside, chants of "kill the bill!' no longer made any sense. They'll have to make up a new one. Good luck with that, GOP. It seems the Democratic base is a little more fired up and the Republican base is a little less ready to go.


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