When the Senate can operate as the Founders meant – allowing simple majorities to pass legislation – things move tolerably fast. The House passed Affordable Care late on Sunday, the Senate passed the reconciliation sidecar (with small amendments) on Wednesday, and the House just passed the amended sidecar. This makes Affordable Care more affordable, strips out some bad deals inserted to secure Senate passage, and – as a bonus – reforms the inequitable student loan system so that less money goes to banks and more stays in the pockets of students and their families.
Pretty good work for a week. In that week, the reforms passed on Sunday have grown more popular. People finally got a chance to see the bill itself, with the press actually discussing the policy, not babbling about Beltway minutiae about the process by which the bill was passed. In the end, what matters is whether Affordable Care makes life better, not whether the bill had a special deal for Nebraska which had to be stripped out.
So congratulations (and Happy Birthday) to Nancy Pelosi, to Harry Reid, to President Obama, and to the more than 30 million Americans who will now enjoy healthcare coverage!