Neuron Culture

Winning ugly, but winning

The last time a president won with 60 percent of the vote, for instance, was when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater in 1964. Health-care reform passed the House with only 50.5 percent of the body voting for it. And the senators making up this morning’s 60 votes actually represent closer to 65 percent of the population. Harry Reid has much to be proud of today.

Posted via web from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker


  1. #1 Badger3k
    December 24, 2009

    It’s a win for the insurance companies, that’s for sure. For the people who could be forced to be insurance with no limits placed on the insurance companies….not so much. Hopefully the house will keep their spines (the ones the democratic senators gave away) and fight for something that will actually help people.

  2. #2 Art
    December 24, 2009

    If this were the final work product dealing with healthcare I would be sorely disappointing. But this is just the first salvo in what is going to be a very, very, long march toward a fairer, more equitable and more efficient system.

    This includes provisions like actually placing some controls on insurance companies and getting people covered. Sure, most of the demands placed on insurance companies are either things they wanted or have no great problems with. But that isn’t the point. These minor things establish a precedent of congress reaching down into them and making rules. It is also a tacit rejection of the mythology about free markets leading to better things for all. It is an acceptance that the insurance companies have been allowed to make their own rules and run things without strong oversight for too long. That much of the excessive cost, inequality and sloppiness is a result of allowing them to run things unsupervised.

    It doesn’t correct much in and of itself. But it sinks the idea that the insurance companies are the experts and should be allowed to run things without oversight. As such it is a valuable first step in what is going to take a decade to straighten out.

    Winston Churchill was said to have said something along the lines of Americans always do the right thing … after we try everything else. This bill is the first step toward doing the right thing. It is an admission that ‘everything else’ has failed to work and it starts the discussion of what the right thing might be. It doesn’t do the right thing. But it opens the door to doing it.

    Merry Christmas.

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