Ezra Klein: A Win on Health-Care, but an Ugly One
On Dec. 24, in an early morning vote, the United States Senate passed health-care reform. It was the first time the body had been in session on Christmas Eve since 1963. That's fitting, as it's arguably the most important piece of legislation the body has passed since 1963.
H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed with 60 votes, and though that sounds a razor-thin margin given the odd rules of the Senate, it is a landslide in the more normal context for major choices in American politics. The last time a president won with 60 percent of the vote, for instance, was when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater in 1964. Health-care reform passed the House with only 50.5 percent of the body voting for it. And the senators making up this morning's 60 votes actually represent closer to 65 percent of the population.