Don Balz, at the Washington Post, while wondering what, if anything, this vote will eventually cost the Democrats, is playing a now-familiar tune on the history fiddle, excited at the prospect of witnessing history:
By almost any measure, enactment of comprehensive health-care legislation would rank as one of the most significant pieces of social welfare legislation in the country’s history, a goal set as far back as the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and pursued since by many other presidents.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the reason health-care “reform” hasn’t been passed after a century of progressives’ whining about it is because for the last 100 years or so, most people have thought it’s a stupid idea. They still seem to think so today.
Regardless of the political fallout, historians say health-care reform will take its place in the same category as the enactment of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965, and only a rung or two below passage of the major civil rights bills of the 1950s and 1960s.
. . . and a rung or two above prohibition, another historic “achievement” by political progressives.
More pertinent is Mark’s note:
Their bet is that it can’t be undone, and that over time, as I’ve been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people.
Mark’s right, of course. It’s not just conjecture. It’s what happens — most vividly in France in 2003, when people were so convinced that the ever-so-expensive national health system would surely make certain the nation’s weakest citizens survived a simple heat wave. Government failed, and 15,000 people died in three weeks. (I harp on this lesson often — most recently, here.)