Barack Obama used 22 pens to sign his healthcare bill into a law and the pens were presented to each person who played a role in making this healthcare effort possible.
Quite an ingenious way of appreciation!
‘Health care’ as a part of social welfare movement was started by Franklin D Roosevelt almost 80 years ago. It was called as Social Security Scheme..a guarantee from the government that the old will be taken care of in the USA. Then came Medicare, which made such healthcare affordable to the senior citizens and later… Medicaid, made available to the poor under the leadership of Lyndon Johnson. But, Obama will be the first US President who introduced a broad healthcare system covering nearly all americans, an effort tried by several past presidents and all of them failed. Obama’s success has shot up his popularity ratings. Almost overnight, he became strong again, winning despite several ‘derailing’ efforts of the republicans. Now, he appears calm, poised and determined…just as he was… while proclaiming the slogan “Yes, We can!”
“Change’ is like a double edged sword, cutting through status quo to bring about the reforms required but at the same cutting deep wounds in the system while transforming. This is what I feel is missing in India in today’s times! Mahatma Gandhi brought about several ‘change’ with his non-violence and satyagraha movement and he could sway public emotions at large with his determination. Obama is a self-proclaimed Gandhi follower and is determined to bring about a ‘changed America’! By the middle of this century, Whites ( read republicans’ supporters) will soon become a minority in the United States. They already are… in the biggest state California. A Black President? You may call it destiny! Or is it the future of America? Obama is a good orator… par excellence. His career graph proves to perfection stating how he has used his oratory skills to rise above others in his short political career. He is an innovator, an incremental reformer but his efforts are far-reaching in impact.
The Republicans use this ‘fear’ of blacks to sway votes into their favour. But, the fast changing demographics clearly indicate….USA will have more ‘old people’ than ever in the coming years. And this healthcare reform will help them! The immigrant population is eclipsing others already there and the ‘looks’ do not matter any longer. New ‘Hispanic’ immigrants (especially from Mexico), who are pouring into this country, in many cases illegally, or the Indians, Chinese, West Indians, Arabs, Asians….are forming the expanding part of US population. Will the illegal immigrants benefit from the health care reform as feared by republicans?
There will be a change! And, Obama may be the catalyst!! It has to be watched..how large his role would be in this transformation? He has got Noble Peace Prize too! Besides, there will be new equations world over in the coming years, with growing and developing countries taking centre-stage! New leaders and new followers? US Healthcare Reforms may be the beginning of the change in USA! Will Obama become a historic figure?
We have to wait and watch.