By passing this secondary bill, Democrats have promised to remove some of the more controversial provisions in the comprehensive health care law, while making others more popular. The reconciliation bill nullifies the controversial Nebraska Medicaid deal, which was added to health care legislation by the Senate back in December. It also will close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole, and bolster subsidies to uninsured working and middle-class Americans, who will be required to purchase coverage when reform takes full effect in 2014.
After Tuesday's signing ceremony, Democrats pivoted swiftly to aggressively defend their achievement. Today, Obama himself practically dared Republicans to run on the promise of repealing these laws ahead of the 2010 election. That aggressive campaign will continue in the weeks ahead. But it's a politics game now. The legislating is done. Congress will now recess for two weeks, and return unburdened from the heavy demands of passing health care reform for the first time in a year.