Hey! So as a crowning touch to an already good weekend, last night the U.S. House of Representatives passed the health care reform bill, so now President Obama just has to sign it into law on Tuesday. The Senate still has to vote to accept changes made in the House bill, and the Republicans are likely to do everything they can to slow or stop the legislative process (including proposing countless amendments which need to be ruled upon), but the Senate will only need 51 votes to accept the changes, and the conventional wisdom at this point is that the bill will eventually pass.
So i think this is a substantial victory. The Republicans are pretty upset at this point, but I think that the vast majority of their fears will turn out to be unfounded (or maybe they knew that they were unfounded all along). Some progressives are still pretty upset that they didn't get the public option. In the end, though, I think that some really good, positive changes were made, and hopefully this bill is going to get a lot more people covered by insurance, increase the number of services that insurance provides, reduce the number of bankruptcies caused by medical expenses, and make some important steps in terms of controlling skyrocketing costs in the health care industry. The bill isn't perfect, but I think that it still represents a big step forward, and if it helps us to become a country where people don't get sick and die due to lack of coverage or go bankrupt because of trying to care for sick family members, then I'm for this bill.
Anyway, watching the final vote pass last night was a nice way to wrap up a good weekend.