Anyone who says they know for 100% sure that the healthcare bill will help or hurt the country overall is way off. The complexities of a system that deals with 300 million people AND their economy are beyond the understanding of anyone. I don't like the bill, but I'm reserving judgment now that it's passed. We'll have to wait and see... but even in five or ten years it still won't be a clear picture. Economists still debate the effectiveness of Reagan's economic practices, and he was president like a million years ago. ;)
Some things I have come to believe over the course of this eternal debate (and I say eternal because it's far from over):
1. The current Republican party is terrible.
2. The current Democratic party is terrible.
3. People who invoke Jesus' name in support of the idea of nationalized healthcare are completely off base.
4. There are utter morons who are opposed to this bill for reasons I do not think are valid.
4b. Just as there have been utter morons opposed to every other major decision made in this country since it was founded. Partisan politics are nothing new, and those who act flabbergasted at the poor behavior by some healthcare protesters need to bone up on their (very recent) history.
5. Those who benefit from the concept of taxpayer money going to healthcare for (more) Americans support the bill.
5b. Those who do not benefit from the concept of taxpayer money going to healthcare for (more) Americans generally oppose the bill.
5c. To sum up, if you're the one getting money from the government, you probably like bills that mean you get money from the government. If you're the one seeing increased taxes in order to provide the money that goes to others, you probably hate these bills.
6. And finally, this country is moving in a progressive direction. I believe this is an inevitable fact that applies to every democratic nation and/or state that has ever been created. To simplify, people like free stuff. And as democracies are (more or less) run by the will of the people, more and more services will be provided by the government over time.
This ties in with the following quote:
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury
This idea (in varying forms) has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville and Alexander Fraser Tytler. In other words, people will choose security from the state over any economic concerns that may exist every time, to the state's detriment and eventual demise.
At some point, the spending for social ideals outstrips all economic reason. Many European countries have installed universal healthcare programs at the cost of national defense, which they have essentially abdicated to the United States. If we were to do the same, where will the world be if China or Russia decides to begin a war?
I don't pretend to have all the answers here. I just hope our nation's rulers can make these decisions with wisdom and sound judgment.
But going back to points 1 and 2... let's just say I don't have much faith in that happening.