A powerful start -- but only a start
For decades, our outmoded, profit-driven health-care system has been one of America's biggest drivers of inequality. The lack of adequate, affordable care has perpetuated other economic and social disparities among poor people, people of color and people on the edges of society.
This bill is a remarkable -- though not yet sufficient -- step toward creating a nation where the amount of money in your wallet does not determine your worthiness to receive health care. More than 32 million Americans will get insurance under this plan. Billions will go toward subsidies for poor families. Small businesses will get help to provide care to their employees and pull some of the weight of the yoke health-care cost from their shoulders. And, most important, it starts us on a path to truly national and universal coverage.
While this is the most important health policy passed in generations, it must only be just the beginning. Our representatives in Washington expanded health-care coverage because advocates, activists and community leaders demanded it for decades.
Now, it is up to us again to ensure the millions still left out of our care system can get in. We must work to guarantee truly affordable care will be available in the future. We must learn from and improve upon the historic successes of our public delivery systems, Medicare and Medicaid. And we must demand that the meaningful insurance reforms actually get implemented as designed, not undermined or watered-down.
We should savor this victory. Then, we must stand up and demand more. This has been an enormous step forward -- but the journey continues.