With Congress now needing only to combine ideas from the House and Senate versions of health insurance reform into one final bill to send the President, there is an unavoidable temptation among the media to focus on the five percent of differences between the two versions, instead of the remarkable 95 percent the bills have in common. But, even as difficult work does remain, it is important not to lose perspective of how far we have come and how close we are to the enacting health reform.
The reality is that the two versions of reform legislation are vastly similar – built upon a shared foundation that will provide stability and security for Americans with insurance, affordable options for those without, and lower costs for families, businesses, and the government.
Both the House and Senate versions of health insurance reform rest upon the following building blocks:
So as you follow the health reform debate in the media, don't fall prey to the cynicism and pessimism of a lot of the chattering class and remember that we are on the precipice of a historic accomplishment that will make a real difference in the lives of American families.
Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director