An achievement that seemed out of reach

AN ACHIEVEMENT THAT SEEMED OUT OF REACH…. For about a year now, a friend of mine has asked me, just about every day, what I think the likelihood is of health care reform actually passing Congress and becoming law. The number, as you might imagine, has had a few peaks and valleys.

On Christmas Eve, when a Senate supermajority approved reform, I gave it a 90% shot of finally coming together. On Jan. 20, the day after the Senate special election in Massachusetts, I gave it a 5% chance, and feared that all hope was lost.

It was hard to imagine, two months ago, that we’d reach this point tonight. It’s an achievement for the ages, a milestone a century in the making. Democrats were elected to make the nation stronger, healthier, and more secure, and health care reform will do exactly that. It gives me enormous pride to be witness to it.

It’s been a long day and I’m calling it a night — I’ll have plenty of commentary and analysis tomorrow — but in about 10 minutes or so, President Obama will speak from the White House about tonight’s developments. You can watch the remarks right here:

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.