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Mar-23-2010 20:36printcomments

Op Ed: 'Exceptionalism' Demonstrated In Healthcare Law
Patience, Perseverance, People-Power Prevail Again

Part 1 of 2: "This is what change looks like."
White House Photo, Pete Souza, 3/23/10

(EUGENE, Ore.) - Despite desperate dollar-power deployed lavishly to lubricate corporate capture of many key Congressional components, true American exceptionalism was again displayed for all the world to see on Monday in D.C.

"We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people," said Obama on Sunday night when the historic legislation and an accompanying package of fixes were approved on Sunday.

"This is what change looks like."

Around the world, once again, people of many nations seeking to progress toward their own democracy, now can see what can happen when the wit, wisdom and will of the people are supported and guided by a President determined and totally devoted to making sure nothing and no one is allowed to derail that democratic demand.

Even the most adamant GOPster opponents were forced to admit President Obama scored a complete reversal of what many pundits had already presumed was due to be the most significant defeat of his young administration.

Its extent, depth, potent penetrating power and its foreseen political-pandering impact were demonstrated by expenditures of “at last one million dollars daily” by one leading organization professing to be acting for the business community, primarily smaller retailers led to believe the bill failed to provide them with subsidizing funding.

Instead Obama-and-crew, rallying strong people resources nationally, found ways to bring cooperation and consensus to wavering Democrats needing to know the true sentiments of the American people --in the face of frantic, furious but overwhelming futile fighting tactics and many questionable techniques by GOPster and corporate interests.

Intent on creating “an Obama Waterloo”, they found to their intense surprise and deep consternation what true “American exceptionalism” really means: Wit, wisdom and will of the people, applied with common sense and uncommon determination, devoted to the deepest regard for commonweal and consequence.

“The people won” is the constant consequential pundit-point, pronounced long and loud by most of the message-massagers appearing or writing in the mainstream print-media. That primarily-negative message was still further amplified and openly anticipated by too many in widespread broadcast and ostensible “news”-programs.

These are the same solemn souls suffering from over-simplified “analysis” who were fervently preaching the potent disintegration of the Obama Administration a few days ago, as an unavoidable, unforgiving consequence of the most concentrated corporate financial-fix operation ever undertaken.

Its extent, depth, potent penetrating power and its foreseen political-pandering impact were demonstrated by expenditures of “at last one million dollars daily” by one leading organization professing to be acting for the business community, primarily smaller retailers led to believe the bill failed to provide them with subsidizing funding.

The fact is that smaller businesses --recognized by Obama’s advisers as the heart-and-soul of community economy nationwide--are among the very first to be benefited, now that real healthcare help is available under this new law.

“Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of up to $50,000 will receive tax credits to offset the cost of buying insurance for their workers”, the Washington Post reports.

New rules for insurance companies will also take effect. Other immediate benefits, according to the Post, include these:

"In six months, all new plans will have to cover the full cost of preventive care, including annual physicals and children's immunizations."

“Insurers won't be able to require prior approval for patients who need to see gynecologists or go to the emergency room."

“Also effective after six months will be a ban on insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, a prohibition on health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and a ban health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage.”

For seniors, "the bill will immediately expand the Medicare drug benefit and, effective July 1, provide a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for the low income elderly."

Best of all for many seniors currently facing common cash shortages, the gap known as the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage will gradually be closed, activated when the Senate finally passes the reconciliation bill, now demanding full-priority action.

Comprehensive healthcare as a human right has long been a worldwide pattern, while delayed here ever since the Theodore Roosevelt regime, despite constantly increasing efforts and major concerns, driven in recent years by the unavoidable fact of furiously ascending healthcare demands and the resulting costs.

The extremely heavy emphasis on first/priority for healthcare by the Obama administration comes from pragmatic understandings that those costs had long ago become “unsustainable”; were forcing many American households into poverty leading to penury and then to bankruptcy and/or loss of a long-treasured ---and long-mortgaged-- family home.

Here is the link to Part Two: Mar-24-2010: Op Ed: Change Process Shapes Healthcare Despite GOPsters Demands of Democracy Guarantee Delayed- 'Right' - Henry Clay Ruark


At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Hank Ruark March 24, 2010 4:50 pm (Pacific time)

"Anon": Easy to see why you remain unidentified even by singlename pseudonym, sir... One can find any number of such rumors and straight/out lies on any of many distorted sources, on Internet, Far Right radio, et al, et al. Fact is there are many points yet to be nailed down, as reasonable, rational people will know. BUT fact is also now history that American right to human healthcare is recognized by law --as inmost other "civilizzed" nations. Whether or not we can make it stick is up to public, now at mercy of more millions of corporate propaganda dollars. Which is why open, honest, democratic dialog as in this S-N channel is so damnably needed...with links to any and all reasonable sources, for a check to "see with own eyes" and evaluate with own mind. I note, Anon-sir, you do NOT supply source, link, or ID so we can know WHO the hell YOU ARE, in all truth --so I now challenge you to ID-self in detail to Editor Tim OR put up links to your rumor-mongering machinating statements. We await your ID,sir...mine already on public record, all detail checkable qualifying statement of opinion, which for this one happens to have more than forty checkable sources, list available for small fee ($25),as PDF which is personally specially- prepared, despite arthritic hands, now, at 92 !!

Hank Ruark March 24, 2010 2:24 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
  This Op Ed is first part of two. Note so informing reader was cut by balky eMac, causing faulty transmission.
  I add the fact here to make sure you also see "the rest of the story" in second part, now appearing via rapid attention by our courageous editor Tim.
  This historic action demands the best possible attention by all of us, including your own thoughtful comment.
  Caution: Complexities demand your full cogitation first, so see the second part and others than mine...

Anonymous March 24, 2010 2:49 pm (Pacific time)

The post by Jeff regarding the AP article is correct and the talk show pundits are running with it, as they should. People should not get their hopes up, so getting correct info is essential. Possibly a bipartisan agreement can be made in congress to make sure our kids get this coverage as soon as possible. Also as per the medicare/medicaid assistance with perscriptions you get a $250 rebate after you spend $2,850.00. It will take ten years before that doughnut hole is filled in. And good luck getting that rebate from some huge government organization that has not been created or staffed with trained personnel. Well at least it's better than nothing. Of course have you heard that Walgren's and other large drugstores are not going to fill medicaid scripts? Also congress will be reducing payments for medicaid/medicare and that's why some states are suing? People coming on to these government entitlements are having a tough time finding a primary doctor. In Massachussetts, which has a similar program as this HC recently passed has found their costs skyrocketing and people are using the emergency rooms at a higher rate than before because they cannot get into a primary doctor. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Hank Ruark March 24, 2010 1:03 pm (Pacific time)

Jeff: D.C. "Examiner" I know is free throwaway newsletter owned and published by Far Right money man. That the same one you used as source here ? If NOT, let me know about this one...until then, use it for obvious purposes. No question some of this law's parts and purposes will be delayed for many reasons, from funding to details for management. BUT whole point is that NOW human right for healthcare in America has been established as in other parts of what now passes for civilization... !! Thanks for your continue interest, itself praiseworthy. But be not taken-in by such paperwaste as EXAMINER.

Jeff March 24, 2010 9:15 am (Pacific time)

It appears that all is not as some in congress have purported.  "ObamaCare will not protect children with pre-existing health conditions from being denied health coverage -- not until 2014. This despite endless talking points and promises to the contrary, the Associated Press reports: Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday... Full protection for children would not come until 2014, said Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, another panel that authored the legislation. That's the same year when insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to any person on account of health problems.
Obama's public statements have conveyed the impression that the new protections for kids were more sweeping and straightforward.  Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexa...

 Editor: I'm not sure that is correct, and we aren't using 'examiner' links at  Try getting your news from journalists, not what you have at the Examiner.

Anonymous March 24, 2010 9:10 am (Pacific time)

Do the members of congress also come under the same medical program? We are all equal, right? If not, then does that mean that we become a multi-class system based on quality of medical coverage, aka, life and death medical resource availability.

douglas benson March 24, 2010 6:44 am (Pacific time)

Finally ! Our president gave up too much though .The Dems had the votes a long time ago but they wanted to play nice with the Reps .You forgot the most important part of this bill the one that will take down the ins comp. 80% of premiums must go to actual care [mabey it was services not sure] .That barely leaves room for administrative costs .Hope you all dropped your health ins stocks or any mutual fund that is in deep in the health ins industry .Kill them slowly I guess ,anyway its a great day for the poor and middle class . I saw a video the other day that says it all those that hate this bill would see the poor die before they gave up one dollar in taxes .This battle has been going on ever since the new deal and socialism [social entitlements ] became law . Now that many families that never thought they would have to are using these programs the attitude is changing a little .How can they scream lazy bum work for it when they now walk in those shoes .These folks have never been truly poor they have never really been hungry its a real eye opener believe me .

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