Below is a round-up of reaction from around the world to the health care reform bill that was passed by the US Congress Sunday.
The Guardian's Michael Tomasky called it a "monumental accomplishment."
In the annals of American liberalism, a (very) few years in our history stand out enough that the mere mention of the year summons a waterfall of images and emotions - 1933 means the start of the New Deal and the birth of modern liberalism, 1964 means the passage of the civil rights act, 1965 means the passage of universal healthcare for the elderly. Now, in the wake of this morning's narrow margin in the House of Representatives, 2010 joins that short list: the year we finally passed major healthcare reform after a century of trying.
The Guardian's Richard Adams said the Democratic Party "rediscovered its vertebrae."
Some myths got slain last night in Washington DC. For one thing, the Democratic party rediscovered its vertebrae and used it, for a change, to pass healthcare reform. For another, the myth that the US political structure is broken and cannot digest fundamental issues ... well, it took a dent.
Nile Gardiner of the Telegraph was critical of the legislation, calling it a "dark day in America."
The passage last night of Barack Obama's health care reform bill through the House of Representatives is yet another blow to freedom in America inflicted by the Obama administration. The legislation, which comes at a staggering cost of $940 billion, will hugely add to the already towering national debt, now at over $12 trillion. It is yet another millstone round the necks of the American people, already faced with the highest levels of unemployment in a generation.
The Times of London said that "this time change really is coming to America."
It is hard to overstate the effect the reforms passed last night will have on the American way of life, because the unknowable changes may be even more profound than those that are already known.
Der Spiegel argues that while the reform was "good for America," it was ultimately "bad for the world" due to the heavy price Obama may pay in terms of popularity.
US President Barack Obama has a significantly different view of democracy than Bismarck did, but the German's observation remains valid. For more than a year, Obama watched his healthcare reform churn through the law-making grinder. His political opponents sliced piece after piece from his most important domestic political project -- Obama himself even grabbed the knife occasionally. The public show was such that American voters slowly lost faith in the president's health care reform plan. On Sunday evening, it finally made it through the House of Representatives. Obama's apron, though, is splattered with blood.
Clive Crook of the Financial Times calls the passing of health care reform a 'tainted victory' for Democrats:
Remarkable as it may be-and welcome, too, as I believe-it is nonetheless a tainted victory. Brown won in Massachusetts for a reason. The Democrats had failed to make their case for this reform to the American public. They pressed the case for some sort of reform, but that was easy: the country was already there. What the country dislikes is this particular bill, and the Democrats, intent on arguing among themselves, barely even tried to change its mind.