Monday, March 22, 2010

Reaching Beyond Our Grasp

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?
-- Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto (1855)

The health care reform bill sent to the president's office for his signature is a welcome and historic first step. But only that. More needs to be done.

First, through Senate acquiescence with the reconciliation bill, which includes some very popular additional reforms and removes some of the more obnoxious compromises engineered last December in the Senate (and which, now, a majority of Senators have agreed to support).

Republicans, of course, are threatening to derail the reconciliation bill. It's what they do, these days. As Ezra Klein says, however, "the less you know about this, the more impressive it sounds."

Next, over the ensuing months or election cycles -- or however long it may take -- the insurance industry's royal-like exemption from antitrust laws needs to be revoked. Period. The House has passed a bill to do this already. The Senate needs to concur.

Finally, Congress should take another stab at establishing a meaningful version of the budget-saving "public option," or "Medicare for All." The intrepid Jane Hamsher of Firedog Lake lays out the path ahead and why it is so necessary that we reach for it.

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