opinion

What editorial writers are saying about the Senate health system reform vote

After a long and arduous process, the Senate voted 60-39 along party lines to pass a health reform bill that now must be reconciled with a House version passed earlier.

Posted Jan. 11, 2010.

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A sampling from newspapers across the nation finds editorial writers applauding what they believe to be a first step toward universal health coverage -- or decrying the bill and the political machinations that led to its passing.

Health reform bill delivers on a key promise of President Obama

It is a curious thing that President Obama's popularity is at a low ebb just as he delivers on health care, a centerpiece of his campaign for change. We are a squeamish bunch. Because despite its flaws, this bill will make us a stronger and more just nation. ... Yes, it was ugly to watch. ... But the deal got done. And now the last step, meshing the Senate and House reforms. As a guiding principle, we hope the final version borrows from the Senate on cost control, and the House on eligibility. Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), Dec. 27, 2009

Health bill, in sum, offers real reform

After 87 years of fits and starts, this country finally is close to extending health care coverage to most Americans. And this nation soon may be a leader, not a laggard, in stanching soaring medical costs. Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Dec. 27, 2009

Tainted process leads to sickly bill

Many Americans ... are justifiably outraged by the closed-door deal-making that has enabled the U.S. Senate's Democratic leadership to cobble together 60 votes for passage of a health care reform bill. Whatever the merits of the legislation -- and there's ample reason to be concerned about some of its provisions -- the cynical trading of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers' money to buy the votes of individual senators is a discredit to Congress and to President Barack Obama, who ran for office promising to change how Washington operates. The Indianapolis Star, Dec. 24, 2009

Health care bill is bad legislation

The health-care reform bill that passed [Dec. 24, 2009] in the Senate is anything but reform. Instead, it's a collection of back-room deals headlined by $100 million in payola to Sen. Ben Nelson [D, Neb.] that moved the bill forward in the Senate. The long list of narrowly focused deals conjures up the adage about lawmaking and sausage making. Problem is, we all saw what went into the sausage that was churned out by the Senate over the past few weeks, and the result is difficult to stomach. Greenville (S.C.) News, Dec. 27, 2009

Ugly victory might be viewed in hindsight as a landmark

In broad strokes, landmark health care reform legislation President Obama seems likelier to sign into law means for the first time America will not as a matter of policy ration health by wealth. We'll finally be off square one after decades of wheel-spinning and on the road to universal health care. It is a huge, complex entitlement that may take years to tweak, but now sounds better than never. Niles (Mich.) Daily Star, Dec. 28. 2009

Bill makes life more complex

We used to think that the tax code was the one thing the government had devised whose complexity could not be topped. Now it looks like Congress is trying to set a new record with health care reform. Democrat Herald (Albany, Ore.), Dec. 25, 2009

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