President Obama Addresses Nation to Outline Effects of Health Care Reform Bill

President Obama said Saturday that Americans would see immediate benefits from a landmark overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system and he urged Congress to swiftly reconcile differences over the legislation so it could be signed into law in the coming weeks.

“Once I sign health insurance reform into law, doctors and patients will have more control over their health care decisions, and insurance company bureaucrats will have less,” Mr. Obama said. “All told, these changes represent the most sweeping reforms and toughest restrictions on insurance companies that this country has ever known.”

After a long legislative season and a hard fight, we're down to the decisive final moments on health-care reform. Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will merge their bills into a single, final piece of legislation. This is, in other words, their final chance to improve the bill before passage.

I'm an ardent defender of the legislation at hand -- the most important social policy advance since the Great Society, cuts the ranks of the uninsured by more than 30 million, reduces the deficit, starts on cost control, etc. -- but there is room for improvement.