It looks like we’re about to be pushed off the edge of the healthcare reform cliff whether we like it or not. So let’s all pray that this bird has some wings.

I think it’s pretty evident to most of us on FDL that this bill is and will be an unmitigated disaster. All of the policy items that would have made a real difference we’re dropped. All of the stuff that big Pharma and Big Health Insurance wanted was left in. These facts can’t be disputed. My gut is telling me that we got a raw deal and that the American people are not going to get better healthcare. But you know what? I hope that I’m wrong.

I hope that Obama and the Democratic Party come out heroes in the end. I hope that the this bill bends the cost curve so that healthcare is affordable for the average American. I hope that we’ll stop seeing patients being denied from getting life-saving treatment. I hope that medical bankruptcies will be a thing of the past. I hope that Americans will finally be able to get the same drugs that they can get in other countries cheaper. I hope that we’ll start to see some enforcement of health insurance regulations. I hope that women will still be able to get the same reproductive rights and coverage as a man gets. I hope that we’ll see Americans be able to get affordable and quality health coverage.

I hope that the folks at Dkos, Howard Dean, Nanci Pelosi, Obama, Harry Reid, Dennis Kucinich, all of the so-called "progressive" congressmen are right. I HOPE this is a win for America. I HOPE this is a powerful first step in the right direction for healthcare.

And if they’re right and I’m wrong, then great! Shit, I’ll be ecstatic that the Democrats did some good for the American people. I’ll eat my own words faster than a fat man eats grandma’s apple pie.

We’ll see soon enough. The next 4-10 years will be telling.

A few things that I hope someone will keep be keeping track of during the next several years.
1. Did denial rates increase or decrease?
2. Did premiums increase or decrease?
3. Did the percent of Americans with insurance increase?
4. Did medical bankrupticies drop in that time?
5. Did people with healthcare use their coverage?

I hope this bird can fly.