Yes, We Can (Be Healthy): Obama’s Health Care Agenda

a cheering crowd in Chicago, Barack
thanked his
supporters, his campaign staffers, his running mate, and his family
for his historic victory.

hope he also sends a nice note to Sarah Palin. He couldn’t have done
it without her.

was chosen for her impeccable culture war credentials in the hopes of
galvanizing the Republican base. Ironically, Palin energized the
conservative base and the progressive base, in equal but opposite

candidacy, as the running mate of a 72-year-old cancer survivor,
forced us to imagine a young earth creationist, anti-abortion zealot
in the White House. To their great credit, Americans said, "Thanks
but no thanks."

Obama victory can be seen as a mandate
for science and rationality across the board, especially in health
care policy. The economic crisis has become an
to ignore
health care, but nothing could be more shortsighted. 

night also saw anti-choice
ballot initiatives

defeated in Colorado, California, and South Dakota.

Reality Check
the ballot battles:

Colorado voters overwhelmingly
rejected a
initiative that would have given human rights to fertilized eggs,
Measure 11 was defeated, and the latest California parental
notification bill stalled out.

it passed, Measure 11 would have been the most sweeping abortion ban
in the post-Roe era. Measure 11 was billed as a kinder, gentler,
saner version of the old South Dakota abortion ban, but the
anti-choicers weren’t fooling anyone. The bill’s so-called health
exemption only applied to women facing organ failure

hopes that
the Obama administration will put an end to the boondoggle of
abstinence only indoctrination. Obama pledged to take a scalpel to
the budget and excise programs that don’t work. Abstinence only
education should be the first to go. It doesn’t work. It devalues
gays and women while misleads about science. And to top it all off,
it’s a $200 million/year wingnut welfare program. It’s time to cut it

does an Obama victory mean the end of the culture wars? Not likely.
Although, according to Mike
the mood at
New Life Church, ground zero of American fundamentalism, was
uncharacteristically subdued in the week before the election.

religious right
nothing if not resilient. After getting trounced 3 to 1 in Colorado,
champions of egg personhood reacted by forming a nationwide
organization, Personhood USA, to fight for ovo-Americans nationwide.

our own victories make us complacent, we should remember that gay
rights are under siege nationwide. Voters in California, Arizona,
Florida, and Arkansas approved ballot measures restricting the rights
of gay couples to marry. In Mother Jones, Richard
California’s notorious Proposition 8, which revokes same sex marriage
in California.

pundits are already wagging their fingers at San Francisco Mayor
Gavin Newsom and gay rights activists for overplaying their hand and
demanding too much, too fast.

thinking small. The culture warriors have never been afraid to seize
the initiative or press their advantage.

progressives should take a page from the right wing playbook. The
Defense of Equal Marriage Act has a nice ring to it. How about
it, President Obama?

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    Yes we can weigh in with our ideas, suggestions and stories at the president-elect’s new website It is an interesting concept to be asked for my opinion from the top versus me wondering how to get it there from down here. I thought I’d take the opportunity to advocate for evidence based maternity care. It is likely that when all is said and done, I will have more than one submission as the right to be married shouldn’t depend on what of many genders you might be!

    I hope you’ll share your ideas too!