A Glimpse of Spring

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

The rain has stopped. It is still misty and chilly outside. The temperature is warming up, with new green mingling with patches of brown on the ground. Flower bulbs are popping up everywhere, eager to get a glimpse of spring.

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a landmark health care reform bill. The law will bring near-universal coverage to the only industralized country in the world, which does not have some form of universal healthcare. A wealthy country with 46 millions of people uninsured, and another 100 millions without adequate coverage. The plan’s provisions will be phased in over four years, and it is expected to expand coverage to about 94 per cent of eligible non-elderly Americans would have coverage, compared with 83 per cent today.

This signals the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s. The bill was passed after a divisive, yearlong debate and political infighting, with all Republican Representatives voted against. It was passed with a slim margin of 220 vs 211. Although it is law now, but the fight is not over yet. Attorney generals of some Republican states are planning to challenge it in court. Further Obama is risking an upset in the midterm congressional elections in coming Novermber. He already knew the huge risk involved but still pushed ahead, and accomplished something other presidents including Bill Clinton had failed to reform during their own presidencies. There is hope after all. A politician not afraid of triggering an avalanche of defeats, all for the good of his countrymen. This is our first glimpse of spring.

Lu Xun (1932)

Just hope our own Canadian politicians will learn from it.

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