Unless you've been under a rock, you should know that Massachusetts elected a Republican senator to replace the late Ted Kennedy. Hopefully you also realize that the state has been democratic since the 80's. This election has disrupted the democratic majority in the senate and has essentially killed the healthcare reform bill in it's current state. The people have spoken; very few people in this country are comfortable with the current healthcare reform bill. The bill is huge; it's doubtful that any of the people voting on the bill have actually read it; and no one is sure if the country can even afford it.
So, now what?
I'm personally not a fan of universal healthcare. With that said, I still feel like the healthcare system needs some reform. Actually, given that I work in the healthcare industry, I KNOW how messed up our healthcare system is. Now it's back to the drawing board. It's definitely not time to give up on fixing healthcare.
Lawmakers, you should be thankful that this out-of-band election took place. Now you can see just how far you've strayed from the path of real America. We elected you to represent us, so now you had better start. The Massachusetts election is your warning: Stop working for the special interest groups and start working for us or we'll find someone else who will.
Let's Start Small
In order to regain support for healthcare reform, the country as a whole needs to understand what's actually being done. My challenge to you is to go back and not try to reform healthcare in one failed swoop. Write smaller bills which focus on a particular area. Keep it small and simple so that those of us who want to know what the bill represents can actually sit down and read it in an hour or two. My water cooler conversations should be able to talk about the "Healthcare Tort Reform" or the "Children's Healthcare Coverage" bills. You see the difference there? I can talk about the bill in a simple statement and know the general idea of what we're trying to do. "Healthcare Reform" is such a broad term that you could be doing anything in that bill; it's just too hard to understand what you're doing.
What are you waiting for? Go back to the beginning and figure out what needs fixing and fix it already. Lawmakers, this is your job. To everyone else, please make sure that you vote for people who you think will make a difference and will more closely represent your values. It's time to stop voting based on party lines and start looking at the people and what they stand for.