At long last, the US will no longer be the "outlier among wealthy nations in leaving so many without basic health coverage," crows EJ Dionne. The passage of the health care bill is "incontestable evidence that Washington has changed" and that Democrats "can govern, even under challenging circumstances and in the face of internal divisions." The stakes were huge: not only in costs to people's health but to Obama's presidency and the credibility of the Democratic Congress, Dionne writes in the Washington Post.
Granted, the plan is "imperfect and won't come cheap," Dionne adds. "But it fills a gaping hole in the American social insurance system." We face years of continued wrangling over the system, just as every nation with health care does. But "above all," the legislation launches the country "on a new path," writes Dionne. The president has turned out to be more of a consensus builder than a warrior, but with this latest, hard-fought victory, he has earned a well-deserved "place in history," he notes.