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.Katie Connolly:
More significant though is the political difficulty of arguing against the benefits of the bill, especially the ones that kick in early. Republicans will have to tell people with preexisting conditions that their new ability to access coverage will be withdrawn. They’ll have to tell young people and their parents that young folks won’t be able to stay on the family plan. They’ll have to tell Americans that they’re fighting to allow insurance companies to drop sick people from their rolls once more. Those aren’t easy fights to have. Health-care reform was much easier to dog before it actually becomes law.Newt Gingrich:
...the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times. They [Democrats] will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years [with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s].What an odious, repellent man. He ran like Custer trying to take that one back.
Keith Ellison (D-MN and the only Muslim member of Congress):
For me, this legislation represents progress toward universal health care for all Americans. Every landmark piece of legislation had a beginning. Women’s rights did not end with the 19st Amendment; Civil Rights did not end with the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; Social Security enacted in 1935, and Medicare in 1965, did not begin as we know them today. So too is it with this health care reform bill. It is a beginning – and an important one,Paul Krugman:
This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out.
And last but not least, the meltdown from the man who would be Speaker of the House of Representatives. Here he is -- John Boner with his top hit "Hypocritical Apoplectic Hell No Blues":