Sunday, December 14, 2014
Thank you Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren for fighting the good fight and for alerting us to the poison pills in the $1.1 trillion spending bill dubbed the cromnibus bill.
Maybe it is the best bill possible, and as many Democrats claim, anything passed by the new Republican Congress would be far worse.
Yes, it contains funding for the Affordable Care Act in what will be a critical year for the future of Obamacare. This could be the year when ACA becomes an integral part of the safety net with a growing constituency who will fight to expand it. If it unravels now, it could be a long time before we have another shot at universal health care. Yes, the Affordable Care Act falls short of universal coverage but it is working much better than expected and if we get a Democratic President and Congress in 2016, there is the opportunity strengthen and expand ACA.
The bill also contains some good news on immigration. Although the Department of Homeland Security, the agency administering most immigration policy, is funded only until February 27, the bill contains new funding for immigration programs at other agencies. For more details, see break down of bill here.
But the price we’re paying is weakening of financial regulation and campaign finance laws. I suppose one could argue that there’s so much money in the political system now, how could it get worse? We’re about to find out.
And one could argue that it will be easier to reinstitute laws regulating derivatives and restricting contributions to political parties than it would be to resuscitate a defunded Obamacare.
We can undo this mess if we can ever convince those Americans–woefully under represented in the 2014 midterms elections-- to vote in 2016 and in 2018!