Historian Bruce J. Schulman draws on the past:

The architects of the most important social legislation in U.S. history, the Social Security Act of 1935, felt the same ambivalence abut their handiwork and the same letdown about the final product. But Social Security became the bulwark of American social policy the foundation of the social safety net to this day. It also proved a political boon for its creators, winning Democrats votes and elections for two generations. Health care reform, however attenuated and compromised, has similar potential.

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