On Thursday night, bloggers and pollsters, students and news reporters alike tweeted a similar message: “Yes, we did.”
It was a sentiment similar to that from the night of November 4th, 2008 – and there’s good reason for comparison. The health care bill, which was finally approved by Congress on Thursday, was the top domestic priority in the Obama administration, and an issue that had dominated the news cycles. President Obama campaigned for health care reform as aggressively as he had campaigned for the 2008 presidential nomination. And after four days of final negotiations and Congressional holdouts, the House voted 220-207 and the Senate voted 56-43 to approve the largest sweeping piece of social legislation in decades.
Tackling health care as an all-encompassing issue in one 600-word post is a daunting task, which is why I’ve rounded up a series of links that discuss multiple facets of the health care reform — technical, political, and otherwise. NYT Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich examines the violent and vehement opposition to health care reform, the NYT notes the immediate changes that the health care bill will put into effect, the NYT looks at the student loan overhaul that was attached to the health care bill, the WSJ debates how the health care reform will affect small businesses, the NYT’s Room for Debate blog discusses whether the health care law is unconstitutional (as 13 state attorney generals have claimed), Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein talks about how this health care bill is just the beginning of reform, the WP provides a handy chart that allows you to determine how the health care overhaul will impact your life specifically, NPR takes on common questions about health care reform in an informative Q&A column, and NPR also discusses how the health care reform will affect doctors and patients.
It’s surely a lot to digest, and there’s no question that the health care dialogue will continue in the following weeks. In one of the articles posted above, blogger Ezra Klein notes that the passage of this health care bill only marks the beginning of a larger struggle for reform, and he’s right — there’s still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of people left to insure. But for the present, Vice President Joe Biden sums it up correctly when he says that it’s “a big f—ing deal.”