The health care bill passed! As you know, my view is this: For all its flaws, if signed into law this bill would be the greatest progressive social policy achievement in over forty years. It’s fine not to be satisfied with this legislation, but it’s perverse not to be happy about it. The important thing is to try to make sure that we don’t need to wait another forty years before additional major improvements become possible.
Thought I might also reprint my boss, John Podesta’s, statement on this since he doesn’t even have a blog:
I congratulate Majority Leader Reid and the members of the United States Senate for taking a historic step forward toward reforming our nation’s health care system.
If enacted, health care reform would substantially improve the lives of millions of Americans currently struggling with our broken health care system. It would extend health care coverage to a record 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured, bringing the total insured population to 94 percent. It would lower premium costs and cap health care spending for millions of families that are struggling today, and begin to rein in the spiraling costs that are creating a fiscal nightmare for the U.S. economy overall. And it would deliver much-needed oversight to the insurance industry, guaranteeing that no American will ever again be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or see their coverage canceled when they get sick, and that women will no longer be charged 48 percent more for the same coverage as men.
It is critical that a final bill ensures that the subsidies provided are sufficient to make insurance truly affordable for working families. But if enacted, health reform along the lines of what the House and Senate have passed will represent the most historic reform of our health care system in the more than 40 years that I have been in politics. We still have a way to go, but today’s passage represents a major step forward.