From the Editors
Health care reform--whether you're for the bill or against it (and it didn't receive a single Republican vote), it'll be the law of the land on March 23 when President Obama signs it. "[T]he 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)," says James Fallows, "TOWARD a system in which people can assume they will have health-care coverage. Period." Ben Wickler takes a look at front pages from around the country--key word: Historic. TPMDC examines the results of a new CNN poll asking Americans about their opinions on the bill: "43% oppose it for being too liberal, 39% favor it, and 13% oppose it for not being liberal enough, with another 3% who oppose it for some indeterminate reason...the exact makeup of [the] opposition paints an ambiguous picture of just how effective a Republican campaign against it could be." Ezra Klein writes up the bill's five best ideas.
Live Pulse has the bill talking points from the White House and says, “The benefits that go into effect this year that you're sure to hear more about: a small business tax credit, uninsured folks with pre-existing conditions will have access to insurance through a temporary high-risk pool, a $250 rebate to seniors who hit the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage, a requirement that private insurers offer free preventative care and a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the cost of insurance for retirees ages 55 to 63.”
Republicans aren’t happy—FrumForum calls the bill’s passage “their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.” At The Corner, Mitt Romney calls the bill “an historic usurpation of the legislative process…the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.” But The Money Game says repeal won’t work: “Even if people don't seem to like the new plan, there's no way a politician successfully runs on some combination of: let's go back to when insurance companies could exclude you for pre-existing conditions and let's go back to when your kid gets kicked off your healthcare plan the moment he or she gets out of college.”
FiveThirtyEight takes a look at the biggest determining factor for whether a Democrat did or didn’t vote for the bill: “All 12 Democrats running in a place where Obama received less than 40 percent of the vote decided against the bill, whereas 195 of 202 running where he received a majority voted for it (including 64 of 64 in places where Obama had at least 70 percent of the vote).” Change.org calls the bill “historic and transformative” but lists a few more steps on their health care reform “wish list.” Wall Street Pit says “no one really knows how the future will play out with the true cost” of the bill, but “one can maintain a healthy skepticism solely by recognizing that Congress has a poor record on matters of cost control. That’s the nature of the beast. The optimistic view is that it’s different this time.”
A Plain Blog About Politics says Obama’s greatest strength throughout the debate has been patience: “he apparently just doesn't care at all about winning the news cycle, or the day, or even the week. He wants to win elections, and passage of legislation, and, I suspect, the war in Afghanistan. He seems, as far as I can tell, surrounds himself with people who have the same view. I'll say one thing: I wouldn't bet against him.” “The process may have been frustrating, and long, and ugly, as Obama told the crowd at George Mason on Friday. But it was also glorious,” says xpostfactoid. “Obama has been telling crowds since 2007 that change wasn't going to be easy, but that it was possible with focus and persistence and courage. He just proved it.”