I actually had no real plans to write anything tonight, but one of my neighbors held control over the laundry room until late, and I am drying my sheets now. But since I am up, I figured I should comment on the passage of health care reform. So without further ado, here are my thoughts:
1) I actually have little idea what's in the bill. I do know that insurers can't fuck people over preexisting conditions, can't pull the recission bullshit, and nonprofit co-ops can be set up in all fifty states. Outside of that, I am not sure of everything in the bill. Oh, wait, no aid for immigrants, and no publicly funded abortions.
2) The Democrats finally showed some spine. What's amazing here is that this is probably the first bill that was passed without a single Republican vote. In the face of truly ridiculous Republican opposition (to the point the Republicans were just making shit up, i.e. "Death Panels"), and so-so polling, and the fact that every Democratic Administration since Truman tried to pass some kind of health care reform, the Democrats sacked up. To be honest, I didn't think they had it in them.
3) The Republicans overplayed their hand. On a purely political note, the GOP strategy for defeating health care was brilliant, and they masterfully played the Democrats against each other. HCR was even polling badly (of course, if you told people what's actually in the bill, it polls a lot better). They, by all rights, should have won this one, but suddenly, the Democrats showed spine they didn't know they had. That said, the Republicans overplayed their hand yesterday. Calling John Lewis, a civil rights activist from the 50's, the "n-word," and calling Bart Stupak a "babykiller" only got the Democrats mad. The townhall storm of the summer was also ridiculous.
4) The Public Option is dead-ish. Its too bad that the public option didn't make it. That said, not having the public option in the final bill means it can come back later, and much cleaner.
5) I have no idea what the political ramifications of this bill will be, and neither does anyone else. For the first time, the Democrats can point to doing something unpopular for the good of the country - this couldn't be further from the Clinton days. Plus, the measures within the health care reform bill will be popular. At the same time, the opposition is totally and completely nuts. Anything is on the table here.
So what are the lessons to be learned? Having a spine is a good thing, and let's hope for the good of the country, these reforms will work.