Timothy Egan at the NY Times says we’ve reached a historic legislative moment in the U.S. He’s talking about the actual possiblity that health care reform will be passed by Congress. It probably won’t be the version of reform that everyone wants—even so, he argues, it may still lead to a health care system that Americans will someday take for granted and come to see as absolutely essential to their security and quality of life.

Politics is so often a salon sport, with its up-and-down arrows, weekly winners and losers, and reliable hypocrisies providing sustainable entertainment for the permanent class in Washington. But every now and then elected officials do something that has deep and lasting consequences — a generational life-changer.

This happened 44 years ago, with the creation of Medicare, the socialized health care plan for the elderly. At the time, the poorest Americans were more often the oldest Americans. And half of all seniors had no health care coverage.

Are you too cynical at this point to care, do you want things to stay just as they are, or do you actually feel some real hope?

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