emocrats exchanged high-fives on the floor of the House of Representatives after narrowly passing a health-care reform bill over the weekend. But Republicans vowed to continue fighting -- does the health-system overhaul stand a chance in the Senate? (Watch House Democrats celebrate passing the health care bill)
Now for the real fight: The House vote was "indisputably a victory" for "Iron Nancy," says Rich Lowry in the New York Post. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "just barely" rammed through an "uncompromising $1.2 trillion bill, complete with the "left-for-dead public option," with 39 of her Democratic troops voting against her. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces a higher hurdle -- his institution is more "balky and deliberative," and, unlike Pelosi, Reid "has no margin for error."
"Nancy's iron hand"
The House did the dirty work: The Democrats' celebrations may be a bit premature, says Thomas DeFrank in the New York Daily News, because many provisions in the more left-leaning House version will never pass the Senate. One of those is the "millionaire's tax" -- a 5.4 percent surtax on family incomes above $1 million to cover half the trillion-dollar, 10-year price tag of the House bill. But Democrats are confident that the House vote got them over "an important psychological barrier," making reform of some kind a done deal.
"Battles loom despite President Obama's big health care reform victory"
The Democrats' tricks are working: The "temporary liberal majorities" may indeed get their way, say the editors of The Wall Street Journal, and foist a gigantic, unwanted new entitlement program on the American people. Both the House version and the Senate plan advanced by Sen. Max Baucus use accounting tricks to hide the fact that the new government long-term insurance program is a "Ponzi scheme" that would quickly run out of money. "Unless the Senate has an epiphany of common sense, Americans will be paying the bills for this willful exercise for generations to come."
"The Lords of Entitlement"
Reform does what people want: Conservatives please their base by crying about "socialized medicine and government takeovers," says Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic, but "the rest of the population just wants relief (from rising health care costs) and security (from medical or financial hardship). If reform accomplishes that, they will be happy, no matter how long or complex the actual bill was."
"It's the building, not the blueprint, that matters"
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