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Health-care reform is now law

4456757828_213fcc7656.jpg

The president has signed the bill. I know this has confused some, but health-care reform is now law. The Senate's vote on the reconciliation fixes will modify that law, but President Obama just signed a universal health-care structure into law in the United States of America.

Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Republicans might reform health-care reform, but they won't repeal it

Comments

Frankly, Ezra, you should be up there in the flanking crowd, given how prominent you've been in this debate.

Posted by: Isa8686 | March 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Let the law suits begin!

So when the individual mandate is shot down and premiums rise due to extensive regulations, we'll see even fewer non-sick insurance subscribers and right back to this whole debate in a few years! Historic!

Posted by: cprferry | March 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Not universal.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"universal health-care structure"

Is this like "weapons of mass destruction program related activities"?

I'm happy, but let's not oversell this.

Posted by: AZProgressive | March 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The word "universal" should appear with an asterisk...BUT: it's a huge step in the right direction. Just as Social Security and Medicare were imperfect and incomplete at their inceptions, so will this law (no longer a mere "bill") improve with time.

The Senate will, hopefully, deliver the first batch of improvements within a week or so. And perhaps we will see another crack at a public option, or Medicare for Everyone, after the next elections.

Posted by: ckbryant | March 23, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

An extraordinary and elegantly choreographed moment that really lives up to its historical billing, a triumph of our better angels. Way to go, Dems!

Posted by: scarlota | March 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This is undeniably a win for the Democrats, and Obama. Irrespective of what Republicans wish for, passing HCR can only help Democrats in November, at this point.

I'll be curious what he tackles next. I'm expecting a focus on jobs legislation, as I think immigration reform or cap and trade would be negatively polarizing--easy for Republicans to use against Democrats, more difficult for Democrats to defend against, in the political sense.

Jobs legislation will be attacked, too, of course, but will be easier to defend. "The president is trying to create jobs, and the Republicans are trying to stop him. What do the Republicans have against you having a job?"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Count me among the people questioning the universality of the law. Still, it's a great day. Here's hoping the Senate Dems can bring the final piece (for now) home.

Posted by: MosBen | March 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What KW and MosBen said.

This bill just makes the current system a bit more rational and fair. The subsidies are nice, but its not like medicare where people are automatically enrolled (that would be really universal). It is certainly an improvement over what we have now, and the mandate avoids the adverse selection death spiral that is taking CA insurers down the tubes. It does allow more people to access the health insurance system, but it doesn't really achieve universality.

Posted by: srw3 | March 23, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, wow I am so happy.

I usually pay cash for my health care; which is usually nothing more then my annual physical. About $300.

But thank you Obama! I will now get to pay about $2000 for a health care plan, so I can get the same $300 physical.

Oh joy. Wow, how lucky am I.

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | March 23, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The results of this health care decision will be horrible.

http://www.communislam.com/health-care-266

Posted by: servant119b | March 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

hooray!


now let's fix it.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is a historic day, and I agree with Kevin_Willis that benefits will accrue to the Democrats in November.

I think the bill might come closer to universality if the subsidies are eventually converted from tax credits to some form of voucher system.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"now let's fix it."

The GOP wants to oppose any changes. For example, they want to keep the backroom deals in place.

So don't count on them to help. Though they'd gladly repeal the entire bill and revert to yesterday's status quo where it was legal for insurers to routinely deny medical payments to policy holders, deny insurance to sick kids, and so on.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

heathergreeneyes,

"I usually pay cash for my health care; which is usually nothing more then my annual physical. About $300."

And you are a supernatural being who can never have an accident, or develop a serious illness or disease in the future?

Wow, how lucky you are. Do you have a magic unicorn too?

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I have to disagree that Democrats will not see a backlash in November.

Come on, liberals lost Ted Kennedy's seat. If a Republican can take Kennedy's seat, Republicans can take back a majority.

How did a republican not only take the seat of the Liberal Lion of the Senate, but also do it in a one party state!

Be afraid, be very afraid!

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | March 23, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I could have an accident in the future, of course.

But that is not why ObamaCare wants to make me buy insurance!

This law needs people like me. People who will pay in, but not take out.

That is how they pay for most of this. People why must buy health care BUT also not use it.

We are revenue sources.

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | March 23, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I want to see Obama apply this model to other things; make everyone buy something, to lower its cost.

Maybe we can pass a law to force every American to buy auto insurance, even if they do not drive.

Won't this lower the cost of auto insurance and make it affordable for the American people?

Don't I have a right to have others help pay my auto insurance?

Seems fair to me!

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | March 23, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Egh, my respecdt for Ezra always diminishes just a little bit when he calls it "universal."

Posted by: gocowboys | March 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"I could have an accident in the future, of course.

This law needs people like me. People who will pay in, but not take out.

People why must buy health care BUT also not use it.

We are revenue sources."

Congratulations - you just quite elegantly described the concept of "insurance"...

Sincerely - here's hoping that you have the continued good fortune to buy health care BUT also not use it.

The other option is that you DONT buy it until you need it and then buy in when you get sick. That is our current situation and why insurers exclude pre-existing conditions... but it has a lot of unintended consequences such as people getting stuck working jobs they hate just to stay insured, medical bankruptcies due to debilitating illnesses that cause people to lose a job etc...

Posted by: lazza11 | March 23, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

heathergreeneyes,

"This law needs people like me. People who will pay in, but not take out."

There you go again.

God forbid, but there could be a malignant tumor inside you right now. You may not have "taken out" yet, but you will, and yes every insurance pool needs people who are not making claims to cover those who do. That does not mean that inurance is not a smart investment.

Grow up and try to think a little. You are not immune from illness.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

To all the nay-sayers: Would you like some cheese with your whine?

Posted by: PapaOscar | March 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe we can pass a law to force every American to buy auto insurance, even if they do not drive.

Won't this lower the cost of auto insurance and make it affordable for the American people?"


Drivers have cars, and human beings live inside human bodies. Everyone with a human body is susceptible to illness, and therefore everyone is at risk.

You may have been a light user of health care until now, that tells us ZERO about what will happen with you tomorrow, or next year.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, now that Romney is no longer a viable GOP candidate for 2012, I wonder who the likely 2012 GOP nominee will be?

Can't be Scott Brown either, since he lauds the gvmt-run health care system that Romney put in place in MASS.

Can it be Ryan? The guy who proposed to cut medicare even more than the Dems? I suspect not, because seniors won't vote for him after they discover that he wanted to gut medicare and SS.

And by 2012 Americans are going to find out all the recent GOP fear mongering about health reform was false, so I suspect any GOP persona who raised concerns about death panels, socialism, birther conspiracies, etc, are going to be toast.

Gee I wonder if that leaves anyone else to even consider? .... Palin? Quitter in Chief?

Guilliani? The guy who put the CP in the WTC?

Any GOP Senator? The guys who fought to maintain the status quo? The guys who will soon fight to stop financial reform?

Jeb Bush (brother of the man who doubled the national debt and attacked the wrong country), the governor who bankrupted Florida? No, I think he's saving his run for 2016 when Obama can't run.

I predict it will be Rick Perry, Texas Governor. You heart it here first.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 23, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@heathergreeneyes
You are better with some catastrophic care insurance until the limit on fee differentials for pre-existing conditions is in effect. At that point, you are better off just paying the penalty (or not paying the penalty, as it looks like it will be enforced laxly on individuals, strictly on employers). If you eventually become ill, you can then sign up for a plan.

Posted by: staticvars | March 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Confuse some" ??

Yes, last night on CNN, Ben Stein claimed the house and senate bills were not the same, and therefore unconstitutional.

Wolf Blitzer tried to patiently explain to that idiot that the house first passed the identical bill the senate earlier passed, therefore bringing it into law, and AFTERWARD passed the desired amendments so that the senate could later adopt them.

Even though Blitzer explained it several times, Ben Stein moronically stuck to his self-embarrassing story.

I laughed my butt off.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The problem is there are millions like Heather GE who go to the Hospital when sick and the can't pay the bill. So we pay for them in higher costs. As far as Auto insurance, In VA it is just like the new HC bill you either have to have insurance or you pay the govt for not having it. I guess she just thinks she deserves a free ride for everything.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | March 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@Lomillialor

Mitch Daniels, the guy who actually figured out how to cut costs in health care for his state.

Posted by: staticvars | March 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

to heathergreeneyes:

Insurance is NOT a health savings account that you simply store money in until you need it. The product you buy with insurance is the peace of mind and comfort of knowing that IF you need medical treatment, then you will not have to worry about whether or not you can pay for it.

Most of us have been paying for that product. People like yourself, however, have not. You could be in a horrible car accident tomorrow and taken to the ER, where you will receive life saving treatement regardless of your insurance status. Because the rest of us pay into the system, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you won't be left to die by the side of the road. However, I'd like to point out that what you've paid for this peace of mind (through taxes) is heavily subsidized by all the rest of us who pay taxes and pay into the medical insurance system.

So, we're just asking for you to pay your fair share for that peace of mind.

Posted by: AnonymousInMA | March 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Well if the issues with Medicare, Medicaid, Medical etc had been resolved... I would feel a bit more comfortable about this medical reform.

Posted by: kmmiller07 | March 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You guys are dreaming if you think this will help Dems in November. But that's not what this was about anyway..? right?

Forcing us to purchase something, by threat of fine/imprisonment by the IRS; is this liberty? I think it is not constitutional. The forced payer mandate will be repealed.

Either way our focus is not on jobs. Where are jobs in your neighborhoods? Not many in mine!

Where is the transparency? I'd sure would like to know who voted for this bill and who did not. It will help me make a choice when it comes time to vote.


Posted by: JBfromFL | March 23, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

to heathergreeneyes:

To add to what others have said, we live in a society that long ago decided that we would not permit hospitals to leave uninsured patients to bleed out on the sidewalk. That surely goes against the views of the more social darwinist among us, which may include you, but having made that policy decision as a society, the rest of us do indeed bear the costs of people like you who are hit by a car, or slip in the bathtub, or have a heart attack, or fall off a bike, etc.

You may well be on your own with things like cancer, though. So good luck with that.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 23, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

JBfromFL,
On the point of transparency, I want to know who was involved in the negotiations with insurers, pharma and abortionists. I want to know who decided to manipulate the CBO score and lobbied fellow congress members with pork. I want those transcripts released.

I'm at least confident that Reid will lose in November and moderate Democrats will not support Pelosi continuing as Speaker.

Posted by: cprferry | March 23, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"You could be in a horrible car accident tomorrow and taken to the ER, where you will receive life saving treatement regardless of your insurance status."

Auto insurance pays for that. I was in an accident and my health insurance was reimbursed by my auto policy -- or more specifically, the other driver's auto policy.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

@AnonMA: The product you buy with insurance is the peace of mind and comfort of knowing that IF you need medical treatment, then you will not have to worry about whether or not you can pay for it.

Even though I support the HCR bill, it does not in fact guarantee that you will not be driven into medical bankruptcy by the out of pocket expenses, loss of income from not being able to work, and services not covered by insurance (like long term care, etc.). I wish the system was more robust but it is not. It is a first step toward sanity in health care, but there are many miles to go.

Posted by: srw3 | March 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"I'm at least confident that Reid will lose in November and moderate Democrats will not support Pelosi continuing as Speaker."

Of course, you were also confident that there House would never vote for the bill.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"If you eventually become ill, you can then sign up for a plan."

Right. Just remember to call an insurance broker and mail in the check during the micro-second after you suffer that heart attack or stroke, just before you lose consciousness and fall to the ground.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Auto insurance pays for that. I was in an accident and my health insurance was reimbursed by my auto policy -- or more specifically, the other driver's auto policy."

Right, but there are countless ways to have accidental injuries that don't involve insured autombile collisions. And none of us can predict the incidence of illness and disease in our lives.

When heathergreeneyes thinks she is bullet proof and immortal (which makes me wonder why she even has her annual check-up) and that she does not need insurance, she is the ultimate example of "whistling past the graveyard."

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Auto insurance pays for that. I was in an accident and my health insurance was reimbursed by my auto policy -- or more specifically, the other driver's auto policy."

Perhaps so, but not, say, if you're a pedestrian and the driver flees the scene or is uninsured. Or if you're a passenger and it turns out the driver is uninsured. Or if the cost of your injuries (and lost work time) exceeds the insured amount.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 23, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"When heathergreeneyes thinks she is bullet proof and immortal"

I'd say that's her right, and we should have no qualms about saddling her with medical debt if she chooses to go without insurance. If she wants to roll the dice, I won't stop her.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Kid at work here, we hired him just after graduation, all of a sudden fell gravely ill. It was very very unusual set of circumstances but bottom line, a healthy young man just starting out has turned into a sickly guy with missing organs and a boatload of complications who has almost exhausted a very very generous lifetime deductible.

It can happen to you. Not likely, but it can happen.

Now he might have just a little more freedom to pursue his dreams rather than be chained to working here for fear of losing what coverage he has left.

That worth nothing to you guys?

Posted by: luko | March 23, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

not deductible sorry, lifetime cap.

Posted by: luko | March 23, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

luko,

that's a horrible story and I've seen my share of them too and know some in the same boat. Thankfully my state requires (on 2-50 life groups) an unlimited lifetime max.

The premium cost to that is negligible percentage wise but honestly the reason that it hasn't ever been in most insurance plans and on most people's radar is that in the group market insurance companies don't talk to each other so (and all states are different) if his employer switched plans when he was at $999,999.99 of his possible million dollar lifetime max he'd start all over again.

Same goes for all other benefits with caps (mental health, chiropractic, PT, ST etc)

You see transparency will have it downsides to the consumer as well.


Not only that but it has more to do with needing to update to what things cost nowadays than anything else. With the rise in cost you see a rise in people that have caps meeting them. Not to mention we're sicker than we've ever been due to obesity, lack of healthcare for some etc.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"If she wants to roll the dice, I won't stop her. "

Nor will the bill, she will be just be subject to a nominal financial penalty.

Think of it as a tax on morons.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"nominal financial penalty" -- eye of the beholder. one man's nominal is another man's unreasonable burden.

Either way, it's not our place to tax her for not having health insurance. maybe she is willing to assume the debt or willing to sell assets to cover the expense, maybe she has a rich uncle. not our business.

And now that we're subsidizing her insurance, do we have a say in how she lives her life? because we have to control costs and it's not fair that she partake in dangerous activities that put her at risk of incurring medical expenses.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I pay thousands of dollars to the federal government every year for stuff I don't need or want. Clearly that's an infringement on my personal freedom. I will anxiously await the Republican plan that will allow me to opt out of paying for all that stuff. Wonder how it'll work...

Posted by: TomServo | March 23, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans lost a huge battle and they are outraged that it might mean they LOSE BIG in November.

That's what's driving them: Republicans are scared shXXXXXX. David Frumm's essay from yesterday explains why...

Posted by: bert8 | March 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Either way, it's not our place to tax her for not having health insurance. maybe she is willing to assume the debt or willing to sell assets to cover the expense, maybe she has a rich uncle. not our business."

It most certianly is our business, because we live in a society in which others will pay as a result of her bad choices.

When an uninsured person without a rich uncle is driven into bankruptcy with hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills, and the court discharges all of those debts, who do you suppose is paying the expense of heathergreeneyes health care?

"And now that we're subsidizing her insurance, do we have a say in how she lives her life? because we have to control costs and it's not fair that she partake in dangerous activities that put her at risk of incurring medical expenses."


Now of course you argue against things which are not in the bill. Hopefully, many people will live healthier lives, thanks to getting wellness and preventative care, etc. But nobody is threatening your right to eat a big sloppy cheesburger or ski on a challenging slope.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The Good Society still exists.

Posted by: leoklein | March 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

bert8,

please tell me how many seats the Republicans are going to lose in both the House and the Senate. Then meet me back here on the Wed after election day and we'll see who's right.


Every pundit out there is not saying who will win but how many seats the Dems will lose.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's the economy...

I don't care what party it is, the party in power during 10% plus unemployment (what is it 17% plus if you count discouraged workers) loses seats.

Posted by: luko | March 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"I want to see Obama apply this model to other things; make everyone buy something, to lower its cost. Maybe we can pass a law to force every American to buy auto insurance, even if they do not drive."

Better yet, maybe we can pass a law to force every American to pay for law enforcement (FBI). Or fire departments. Or to fund the CDC.

TYRANNY!!1

Posted by: antontuffnell | March 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Is it too late to opt out of paying for the Iraq War?

Posted by: jeffwacker | March 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Every pundit out there is not saying who will win but how many seats the Dems will lose."

visionbrkr,

The very same pundits spent election night '08 and the weeks that followed discussing how the changing demographics has turned the Republicans into a regionally-based permanently shrinking party. Not too many months later, the Republicans won Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate. The only thing you can predict in American politics is that the environment continually shifts.

The election in November will turn on the economy and jobs, and whether the Republicans can actually offer coherent policy alternatives to the Obama agenda. If the Republicans are actually so foolish as to believe that repeal of health care is going to be the central issue of concern to voters, and their ticket to winning big in November, they don't stand to gain much or any ground.

But as the Terry Schiavo affair taught us, the modern Republican party is often completely tone deaf. So I hope they do decide to ride that wave of "repeal" all the way to the beach.

America has a short attention span, and in another few weeks the debate on HCR will feel like ancient history.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I live in MA. I met a young lady a couple of weeks ago whose family had moved to MA from NH after her dad had, out of the blue, had an incapacitating stroke. Unfortunately, his insurance found a way to stop paying for his rehab, and the family didn't have six figures lying around to cover his bills in the absence of insurance. His doctors have told them that not pursuing rehab is simply not an option if he ever wants to be a functional adult again. The guy is ~60 and was otherwise in good health, with many years ahead of him.

So they moved to MA because we don't discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions here. And you know, it turns out that buying health insurance is not so awful. I pay ~$250 a month for my individual policy, which, though not a trivial amount of money, is a price that I am more than willing to pay to make sure that, should anything like that ever happen to me, I'll be able to receive excellent care without bankrupting my family.

I'm so glad that the rest of the country will get to experience peace of mind now too. We're the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. It was about time.

Posted by: jeffwacker | March 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad this passed so that more people can fall below the poverty line. I love it 100%. I'm positive I'll always be smart enough to stay above the average, let the suckers crash the economy and drown.

In ten years our healthcare system will be complete garbage. What intelligent human being would want to spend 8-10 years to become a doctor, spending upwards of a million dollars, to make a meager and government controlled salary?

You people will certainly reap what you sow, your children will hurt even more. I'll be laughing the whole way to the bottom.

Posted by: reign99 | March 23, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Patrick,

agreed. but honestly I think we're pretty much at the lowest possible point in the Republican party seat wise. I can't see them getting less than the low amounts they have now. Not when polls show that 40% of the country is conservative. I'm wondering if the Republican increases will be incremental or if we'll see a serious backlash against this government takeover of healthcare ;-)

Furthermore the Dems are making liberals pay money to the greedy insurance companies. I'm betting there are more than a few that would spend thousands more in premium per year to give it to a public option. I can't see them being too enthused in November.

And as you rightfully said economy and jobs will be huge (especially among independents I'd think). If we're still at 9+% unemployment (which I'm thinking we will) it could get ugly.

I'd hate to see Ms. Nancy lose her gavel.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@luko

It is a sad story, but we can't afford unlimited care for everyone. We can't afford unlimited war, either. Yet all we can do is spend and cut taxes. Our republic is getting weaker.

Posted by: staticvars | March 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I recommend adopting "RomneyCare" as the appropriate descriptor for this legislation. Whenever anyone asks about it around here, I say "you mean RomneyCare?!?"

Posted by: luko | March 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr,

I think it is unlikely that Dems won't drop some seats, mainly because history shows us that 2 years after the election of a new President, the President's party always loses ground in Congress.

However, I think the Dems have now shaken off the aura that their majority can't get big things done, and I think that there may be some modest job growth happening in the Summer and Fall, both of which should temper the climate in the Fall.

But it is WAY too early to safely predict what the environment will be for either party after Labor Day. I just can't believe that the repeal of health care reform will be something a majority of mainstream voters will particularly want to hear about then.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Patrick,

sure it would have been an absolute slaughter if they didn't enact reform but then again they're emboldening those who are against reform, the mandate etc.

Yes its too early and jobs will play a huge part. Every employer I talk to about this isn't hiring because they don't know what their healthcare costs are going to be in the next 4 years until exchanges open, etc. The unknown has a way of making businesses wary. And if businesses don't hire, people don't have money to spend and if people don't spend . . .

Hey maybe we can get some more infrastructure!

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"We are revenue sources...."

...and in thirty years or less you'll be revenue sinks with affordable access to medical miracles unimaginable today. Alternatively, you could leave. However, a lot of the really nice places to live already have universal health care.

Posted by: GingerBear | March 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Visionbrkr:

When exactly did we get infrastructure thus far? Out here in the NY metro area we're still just waiting for a bridge to fall...maybe the Tappan Zee.

Posted by: reign99 | March 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

GingerBear:

Didn't they say the same thing about Social Security? In thirty years from now (or so) you'll be reaping the rewards of all your generous hard work! Oh wait...we spent it all, sorry. Better luck next time!

I'm fairly confident THAT is the correct vision of our health care futures.

Posted by: reign99 | March 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

GingerBear:

Didn't they say the same thing about Social Security? In thirty years from now (or so) you'll be reaping the rewards of all your generous hard work! Oh wait...we spent it all, sorry. Better luck next time!

I'm fairly confident THAT is the correct vision of our health care futures.

Posted by: reign99 | March 23, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

reign99,

i was kidding. I don't really prefer jobs that cost $300k per job and give us 20 jobs for a short period of time. That's all fine and good when we've got private jobs plentiful or better yet available but when that's the major job sources then we've got a serious problem that's going un-noticed for the last year and a half.

I know, I know, its George Bush's fault. The funny thing with that is we're now about 4 years into Ms. Nancy's reign. Exactly when does she bear some responsibility for the current job market? Maybe when we're all working for the government.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't they say the same thing about Social Security? In thirty years from now (or so) you'll be reaping the rewards...."

Social security is working fine for me, as it did for my parents and will for you so long as you don't let them privatize your benefits out from under you. You don't get rich off it, but it can pay the Visa bill and, worst case, will keep you off the street.

Posted by: GingerBear | March 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I am very happy that the Health Care Bill has finally past. The Republicans do not tell the truth and represent the NO population of the United States with a fringe of Skin Head, Racism, and Homophobic tendencies. They have finally shown their true color which is the color of FASCISM. Those colors which make up fascism are the cold colors. You figure. Jane Davis

Posted by: janetess | March 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

janetess... You are very narrow-minded and extremely rude. Just because someone is a Republican does not mean they are a skin head.

You are the typical tool the liberal party is thriving on. You will believe their lies and you hate others for them.

Posted by: itsallbad | March 23, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Years ago we let people use their own judgement as to if they needed to buy car insurance. Unfortunately, people like Heather Green Eyes thought they were so smart and so perfect that they didn't need to buy car insurance because "they never got into accidents". Eventually, all the people that had their cars destroyed by the uninsured got fed up and decided to make a law mandating all drivers buy insurance.
Likewise, we should make people buy health insurance because regardless of how careful you are, how healthy your lifestyle- reality happens. People get sick, pregnant and injured even when they don't have insurance. The rest of us are sick of picking up the slack for freeloaders who irresponsibly go without insurance then have to beg for charity or file for bankruptcy when they pull the short straw and need heath care.

Posted by: cminmd1 | March 23, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for Jane they're closing the donut hole.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Are those sweet, sweet Republican tears they are toasting with?

Posted by: vintagejulie | March 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

G-d bless barack obama and nancy pelosi.
what a wonderful day!
and thank you, ezra, for your brilliant work!!!!!!

last week, a commenter said that if health care reform passed, democrats thought they would be getting skittles and unicorns.
well, in honor of president obama's health care reform bill, or (the great rainstorms we had) skittles rainbows are all over the deserts of southern california. i was out hiking in the desert today, and there are more wildflowers than i have ever seen before.
the deserts of southern california are an absolute paradise of unearthly beauty!!!!
skittles rainbows for hall. see what passage of the bill can do!!!
but i didnt see any unicorns....just an absolutely giant jack rabbit, and a big wild turkey!!!!!!
the desert was rejoicing with flowers and blue skies ,and so was i!!!!!

Posted by: jkaren | March 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

well, universal-ish.
:(

Posted by: adamiani | March 23, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"Social security is working fine for me, as it did for my parents and will for you so long as you don't let them privatize your benefits out from under you."

Social Security is going broke, and even if it's not completely toast by the time I retire, it will likely be skimpier than the current skimp. I'd be willing to wager that the age I can begin to accept it will be much higher also, so if I'm lucky I can collect for five or six years before I die.

Whoopee. So what will I get back, of my life time contributions?

Posted by: reign99 | March 24, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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