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I should probably say something profound or something about passing a Health Care Finance Reform bill. It’s, um.

Well, let me say this: If you had told me, in, oh, 2005, that within five years we would have passed a Health Care Finance Reform that would, essentially, expand health insurance to cover everybody (or very nearly), with subsidies for those who cannot afford it and regulations to prevent the insurers from denying insurance to those who need it most, or kicking out those who cost the most, well. I don’t think I would have believed you.

And, of course, in 1995, if you told me it would take fifteen years, I would have been sadly disappointed.

Still. Not bad. Not bad. But as with any kind of democracy: now’s the time to really start work.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


What did you think of it as political theater?

Can the Senate taking up the fix to the Senate bill under Reconciliation top it, or will the pace of the action be just too slow?

I don't think the Senate patch has much interest as political theater, as (a) we only need 50, and we have 55 or more for everything in it, (2) the patch is, as Jon Bernstein has been saying, mostly ice cream and very little spinach, so there isn't any reason for anyone to dig in their heels, other than being jerks (iii) the Senators really, really, really don't want to send the thing back to the House, and so the incentives to be jerks and dig in heels on the little spinach that is in there is pretty small. I'm expecting a quick sail through the Senate.

The other thing is that Health Care Finance Reform is now Law (or at least, it will be law once Our Only President signs the fucker), and even if for some reason the Senate doesn't pass the patch, they will just write a new patch next year. Which they will do anyway. Because this patch is just the first of a set of annual patches--now that Health Care Finance is a done national issue, it will be part of the annual budget battle. This is just the first of a set of largely boring fixes, and the odds are that we will all be looking somewhere else pretty quickly.


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