Like many of you, I stayed up last night to watch the House pass in sequence first the Senate health bill, and then amendments to that bill to be taken up by the Senate in the "reconciliation" process (these days perhaps one of the most ambiguous or ambivalent labels out there). Now, there are complaints that some of the provisions in the plan don't start immediately. However, some will begin immediately, and if you'd like to see which, one of my colleagues at Episcopal Cafe has prepared a list; and thanks, Anne, very much for that!
Of course, now is not the time to stop the pressure. We do have health care reform; but like the Church, which is called to be "always reforming," we need to see the improvements in the reconciliation bill pass, too. So, email or fax your senators today. Sure, you can call their offices, but those lines may well be long. Emails will get through, and faxes as well. Let them know that you continue to support health care reform, and that the changes coming from the House are appropriate as is. Let them know, too, that you will note any efforts to change or stall the reconciliation bill, and in the fall vote accordingly.
I have said often enough, here and elsewhere, that my standard for calling the United States a "Christian nation" is not the mention of Divine Providence in the writings of the "Founders," nor prayer in public schools, nor holiday displays on public property. It is how we fare in light of Matthew 25 and Jesus' description of the last judgement. With this reform that will make health care available to literally millions more than have it now, we've come that much closer to appropriate care for "the least of these."