Now that President Obama has officially signed HR 3590, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” it is the law of the land. It was a historic moment. Like it or hate it, the legislation is now a significant part of this America's socio-economic makeup, and will define the new health care reality in this country moving forward.
There are some very good things in the bill, and some pretty awful things. It would provide millions with health insurance through Medicaid and put some much needed regulations on the books, but it will also further entrench the private health insurance industry and further erode a women's reproductive rights.
The debate about this bill is over -- it is now the law of the land. The fight now turns to where you go from here. This bill can be changed, amended, and modified (for better and for worse), but no one honestly expects it to be repealed or completely replaced. Even though it is an extremely poor foundation to build on, it will be the foundation health care reform activists will need to deal with.
I hope everyone that fought to actually provide everyone in this country with quality, affordable health care will not stop until that goal is truly realized. I hope people that fought to end the abuses of an immoral, for-profit health insurance system will not give up. I also want to thank everyone involved for their hard work trying to advance health care reform.
If you want discuss some of my thoughts about possible actions to advance real health care reform look here.