The passage of a major piece of legislation is always met with boisterous and
somewhat overheated projections for how it will change everything. Yet health care reform--one of the biggest pieces of legislation passed in decades--may reshape the political reality on a scale like one of the last major acts of social welfare reform, President
Lyndon B. Johnson's civil rights legislation. Here's how.
- Liberal Dems Stronger Than Ever The New
Republic's John Judis credits the Obama movement, liberal
grassroots, and even the galvanizing Tea Partiers for strengthening the liberal base . "This campaign altered the chemistry of the debate within Congress and
among Democrats. Democrats in Washington had come to understand that it was us
versus them, with 'them' being Republicans, Tea Partyists, and various business
lobbies, but they can now recognize that there is a real 'us' out
- Most Partisan Washington Ever?
The New York Times' David Sanger sighs, "Obama has lost something —
and lost it for good. Gone is the promise on which he rode to victory less than
a year and a half ago — the promise of a 'postpartisan' Washington in which
rationality and calm discourse replaced partisan bickering. Never in modern memory has a major piece of
legislation passed without a single Republican vote."
- Can Such Angry
Politics Accomplish Anything? The Washington Post's Ezra Klein looks over the political theater from
Sunday's vote--which included House Minority Leader John Boehner yelling "hell
no" on the House floor--and from reform's long slog. "It was a reminder of how
far our politics have strayed, and how much more extreme our rhetoric has
become, than the underlying legislation warrants. The deafening volume of the
debate long ago drowned out its subject."
- Drug Makers and Hospitals Win, Insurance Loses
The New York Times' Reed Abelson says the implications of reform will
mean "millions more Americans buying private health insurance and better able to pay for
their hospital stays, doctors’ visits, prescription drugs and medical devices."
That's great news for drug makers and hospitals as it opens up a whole new
market of customers. However, as tough insurance regulations kick in, "the
outlook for insurers was less certain."
For Now, the significance of the vote is moving
the United States FROM a system in which people can assume they will have health
coverage IF they are old enough (Medicare),
poor enough (Medicaid), fortunate enough (working for an employer that offers
coverage, or able themselves to bear expenses), or in some other way specially
positioned (veterans; elected officials)... TOWARD a system in which people can
assume they will have health-care coverage. Period.
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