Universal health insurance passed Congress last night. I believe this will be the signature achievement of the Obama administration. After all the compromises were made, both with Republicans and with fellow Democrats, the final bill was, as the president said, "straight down the center of American political thought." I think that within a few years universal health care will be as much a part of the grain of American society as Social Security and Medicare. We will look back on this debate and wonder why some people thought getting health insurance for all was such a scary idea.
I think many of the other things that President Obama wants to do have been waiting on passage of this law. Now he can go ahead with other elements of his agenda. He will be able end the war in Iraq, fight the war against our 9/11 attackers, close the Guatanamo Bay prison, end "don't ask, don't tell," draw down the war deficit, stimulate jobs in energy-efficient industries, make us less beholden to oil barons, work together with the great powers of Europe and Asia to defuse new nuclear threats. Oh, and while he is at it, improve race relations in America. I believe the president will have a big year.
President Obama's approval rating today stands at 26% strongly approve, 42% strongly disapprove. I believe that a year from now, those numbers will be reversed.