The Dean of the Villagers, David Broder, endorses the healthcare bill, framing it in the context of the tenure of Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who, like the Knight Templar in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, has been waiting centuries for deliverance.
In coming weeks and months, we will all have occasion to be reminded that we are hardly pioneering. We are belatedly catching up to what every other advanced industrial society has long guaranteed its people. Dingell reminded me that when Medicare was passed in 1965, he thought insurance would quickly follow for the rest of the population.
Next year, if not before, Congress will surely have to amend the new law to deal with some of the flaws its critics have noted. In fact, lawmakers will be dealing with health care every time they meet for the foreseeable future.
Inevitably, the cost of the guarantees embodied in this bill will confront a future Congress with hard choices these legislators finessed.
And yet, as John Dingell can testify better than anyone, it is worth celebrating, as Obama did, the achievement of a nation that did what is hard, and necessary, and right.
You have no idea how good that makes me feel to know that Mr. Broder has blessed the bill. My life is now complete.