Change comes to Washington

The Washington Post says US health-care reform has “provided the first piece of incontestable evidence that Washington has changed,” since Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

The New York Times reports that Republicans are already planning to launch a campaign to repeal the legislation, and to make it a key issue in this year’s mid-term elections.

Outside the US, the news that the congressional vote will give Americans something close to universal health insurance was also widely reported. The Australian noted that the $US940bn over 10 years cost of the scheme will be paid for by tax hikes and savings made in the current health care scheme. No government money, however, will be used to subsidise abortion, accept in the case of rape or where a woman’s life is in danger.

Despite this success, The New York Review of Books argues that the political cost to Obama of getting these reforms through has been high.