I usually try not to comment on the politics of reform, but that was the heart of what President Obama was trying to accomplish tonight. I didn’t hear anything new in terms of policy; in fact, I think anyone following this closely has heard much of the specifics of the plan before. My feelings on the bill remain the same: I think it will definitely lead to more coverage, give people more security in their insurance, and cost a lot of money – without adequately containing costs in the long term.
However, I think that improving access has always been the foremost goal of the administration and as such the bill is not surprising. I think what was surprising tonight was the President’s commitment and forcefulness. I think he’s staked his Presidency on this. He was adamant in that he would not fail to pass reform, he called out others on lies about the bill, and he delved deeply into the moral implications of reform. This reminded me more of candidate Obama than President Obama. I think it’s likely to have helped his cause a great deal.