We must keep the health-care ball rolling

WESTMINSTER — In an airport recently, facing life-threatening boredom, I broke down and tried to buy a book through Amazon's Kindle Store. Folks, I was not able to. Somehow this failed to make national news; somehow Wolf Blitzer didn't appear on the airport TV screens to discuss it for the rest of the day, but yes, it happened, and I'll bet it's not the only instance of a commercial website letting somebody down.

Point being, it's time to be done with the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the healthcare.gov website. It's time to stop rending our garments and everybody's nerves and time to man up here.

What if we were actually rooting for our country? What if we were rooting for the team that wants us all to have access to health care? How would we be acting right now?

This frenzy seems unpatriotic to me, frankly, and also really, really boring.

I'm proud to be a Vermonter at this moment. I think Gov. Peter Shumlin has done exactly the right thing with the delays and extensions of deadlines, but our website is working better than most, and we've been proactive.

As the governor points out, ACA isn't the plan we would design. It's not single-payer, we didn't draft it, and it's a serious compromise of many of our values and insights.

But it is the law of the land, and a major opportunity for us to pull down federal dollars to advance toward our goal. We can be proud that we made this happen.

Shumlin campaigned on single-payer, yes, because he needed to in order to get our votes, but what's wrong with that? It's how politics works.

Here in Windham County. we raised and trained Shumlin, educated him on a lot of issues, and now we've got him where we want him - in a position to forward the goals that so many of us share. Good for us! Good for him!

I'm also proud to finally have a president who could achieve national health care reform. Yes, it's a beast, and it will need further reform for decades to come. But who else ever got this far? How can we complain about the compromises with insurance companies, when we recall how they killed every other attempt?

These guys got the ball rolling. We've got to keep it rolling.

If you like carping and complaining, you're in luck; we'll need to keep pointing out the deficiencies and pushing for better things. But how about a vote of thanks for the people who've gotten us this far?

Barack Obama. The Heritage Foundation. The Clintons. Mitt Romney. Nancy Pelosi. Rahm Emanuel. Cheryl Rivers. Peter Shumlin. Richard Davis. Peter Zilliacus. Harriet Gelfan. You, and me, and the list goes on.

We haven't reached our goal yet, but Joe Biden was right - this is a big f-in' deal.

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