In late night drama, House Minority Leader, John Boehner, argued that Democrats were pushing ahead a bill that the public does not want, “We have failed to listen to America and we have failed to reflect the will of our constituents.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed debate with a final impassioned pitch for reform stating, “It’s time to complete the great unfinished business of our society,” adding that health care, “is a right and not a privilege.”
When the votes were tallied the bill passed 219-212. All 178 Republicans opposed it, as well as 34 Democrats.
In a televised message after the vote President Obama said, “This is what change looks like,” referring to the vote he further stated, “this is not a victory for any one party. … It’s a victory for the American people and it’s a victory for common sense.”
Immediate effects of the bill will be minimal with several constraints on insurance companies going in to effect in three months time. The real point of contention, mandatory health care coverage, will not go into effect until 2014. This provision sets Virginia on a collision course with the federal government. Earlier this month Virginia legislature passed a bill which:
“Provides that a resident of the Commonwealth shall not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage except as required by a court or the Department of Social Services where the individual is named a party in a judicial or administrative proceeding. ”
This sets the stage for a renewed battle of state’s rights vs. federal rights. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has indicated Virginia will file a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the Democratic health-care reform bill.
Interestingly, the bill has been sitting on the Governor’s desk unsigned for weeks. With all of the hot rhetoric and up to the minute coverage of the health care proceedings, the Governor is living up to the Virginia motto by “biding” his time. Speculation abounds that this critical law in Virginia may be a segue into a VP bid in the next presidential election. The Governor may be waiting to see how the American citizens react to Health Care Reform before moving forward with the law.
So what do the citizens of Clarke County think of this historic reform?
Give us your comments on this important issue.