Back in Bend after a three-week trip to the farthest reaches of the Amazon region. I learned of the passage of the health care bill in a small Internet café in Manaus. I delighted in catching up with the Sunday papers and all the analysis of the American political machinations. My conclusion: What a great country we have here, these United States of America!
Despite the bitterness and all the bickering, we managed to find enough muscle to pass some form of a health care bill that is not all that we hoped for, but enough of an effort to put million of Americans in the rolls of those covered. Seeing the reaction of foreigners at our "high fiving" for the health care accomplishment, some Brazilians asked what all the hoopla was about. "Health care? Do you mean, the U.S. did not have a health care program for the common citizen?"
You see, even a developing country such as Brazil has some form of national health care system that provides basic care for the poorer of its poor - and there are many of those in that country.
I am not happy with all that president Obama has done ("drill, baby drill" and no public option, for instance). But reading the summary of his efforts so far in his presidency, I have to agree that much good has been done in such a short period. It must be said that none of his moves and initiatives come as a surprise - a check of his campaign promises shows a careful and deliberate approach, delivering pretty much what he had talked about throughout [the campaign].
While not all is well in this great country of ours, our democracy is moving on and the majority, duly elected by the American people, is doing just what that electorate had expected. I am sure (hopefully, not too soon) that at some point Americans will vote to put the other side back in the White House just as they have done for the duration of the Republic.
May the dedication, hard work and respect that Obama has shown, despite the over-the-top name calling from a bitter Right, continue to be the way he conducts the business of the country. A great country, indeed!