Hurray! A supermajority in the senate passes its version of the health care reform bill. The drama has been intense and there have been many moments when it seemed like talk of death panels and communism would defeat the process but, ultimately, with the help of giveaways to all the special interests and plenty of backroom wrangling, majority leader Harry Reid managed to thread the needle. Yes, this is a hugely imperfect bill. But it is also a tacit acceptance of the responsibility of the government to ensure affordable health care for its citizens. For that alone, it is a remarkable accomplishment. In the years to come, it will be hard to reverse any of the benefits and easier to keep improving upon the foundation that was laid today.
If, like me, you’ve been following the HCR drama with great interest but little understanding, here is a graphic representation of what reform is going to mean for the country courtesy The Wonk Room.
What next for passage of the HCR Act? The house bill and the senate bill have to be merged in conference and the resulting bill will have to be approved once again by both bodies before it goes to the President for his signature.
The Wonk Room, once again, looks at the difference between the bills and suggests improvements that can be added in the merging process here.