Cleve Francis
cardiologist, musician

Cleve Francis

Cardiologist; President, Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates, Alexandria, Va.; musician.

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Untested success

Question: Will President Obama and Democrats pay a price for their success in passing landmark health care legislation? How often does success prove hazardous to people's careers or backfire in unexpected ways?

Answer: As a health care provider I feel strongly that the President and the majority of the Congress decided that it was in the best interest of the country to reform heath care. The members of Congress who voted for this change did so with the full realization that there was some risk involved to their political careers. The impact on health care remains in doubt but on the immediate positive side are the following: 30 million more Americans will get health care coverage: preexisting health conditions will no longer prevent people from getting health care insurance; increases in insurance premiums will be limited and subsidies will be provided to small businesses to enable them to insure their employees.

Yet the full impact of the law is not yet clear, Since proponents and opponents feel so strongly, they will continue to look at the matter from different vantage points.

In the social and political history of America, this was a monumental event. Proponents can rejoice in the bill being passed, but the long range success remains unproven. If the bill falls short of expectations, some members of Congress who voted for the bill will pay a price. Those who stood in opposition must wait to see if they can say "We told you so". They too may come to regret their opposition.

The challenge of public officials is to balance the interest of constituents with the national interest. As Winston Churchill once observed, "This is not the beginning of the end but rather the end of the beginning."

By Cleve Francis  |  March 23, 2010; 9:07 PM ET  | Category:  costly success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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