Before I leave for the evening to head home to my family and participate in my fantasy baseball league's draft, I would like to reiterate something that I think is being lost in the mix:
This is a bill regarding (for the most part) health insurance
, not health care
. This is, I don't know: a government mandate for people to buy health insurance with a combination of insurance laws/subsidies/tax breaks designed so that everyone can get access to a plan they can afford and to prevent malicious insurance company practices.
Remember: this is not the government handing out free health care - this is health insurance
and you have to buy it. Much like you have to buy Auto Insurance. The government is going to subsidize a lot of it, but let's keep in mind this is a benefit that the people who are getting it are paying for, not just a freebee the government is handing out.
This is going to create more competition. What a smart insurance company would do is create a wide range of products such as a cheap, bare bones insurance plan for healthy/young people who don't feel they need the same level of coverage as say a guy like me who wants his whole family covered as much as possible. And no, insurance companies are not going to crash and burn - they just got 32 million new customers. Trust me, they're going to be fighting for every one.
This bill was not controversial in the least. We had manufactured controversy. Most of it is predictable and natural evolutions of existing policy. Denial of sick people should have been gone decades ago. Expansion of Medicare happens every 5 years or so. Any controversy was by someone on the hill who mistook obstinance with principles or who was getting campaign advice from Sarah Palin.
I think this picture kinda sums it all up: