Democrats secured the 60 votes they needed in the U.S. Senate to prevent intransigent Republican’ts from killing President Obama’s effort to reform the American health care system--a deficit-reducing public service that’s been sought by presidents for the last century. There are still many significant hurdles ahead: reconciling the differences between plans put forward by the Senate and the House; overcoming myriad lies promulgated by the GOP to unnecessarily stall or kill health-care reform and thereby protect the minority party’s Big Money backers; and preventing arguments over abortion coverage or public-option insurance plans from sinking the whole effort. Furthermore, no matter what reforms pass, they will likely have to be improved on in years to come, just as Social Security was modified by subsequent amendments. But at least allowing legislation to reform the broken, expensive U.S. health-care system to move forward in Congress is a vital first step.
READ MORE: “Quote of the Day: Why Is It So Difficult for Democrats to Start Health Care Debate?” by Joe Gandleman (The Moderate Voice); “Threading a Very Small Needle” and “Refreshing Lieberman’s Memory,” by Steve Benen (The Washington Monthly); “Thrust and Parry on the Senate Floor,” by David M. Herszenhorn (The New York Times); “The Nativism Tax: What It Will Cost You to Deny Illegal Immigrants Health Care Insurance,” by Timothy Noah (Slate).