We can talk all we want about the narrowness of Nancy Pelosi’s passage of the House health-care reform bill. But it is terrible news. The narrowness of the victory somehow makes it even more disheartening to me: the United States could be drastically changed by just a handful of people. Now for the good news:

This is all the Obama administration and Pelosi could get after one of the biggest pushes to pass a piece of legislation in our history: 220 to 215. One Republican, “Cheap Date” Cao of Louisiana, voted with the Democrats; while 39 Democrats voted against the bill.

While this was narrow and along party lines, it is just possible that the sheer determination and radicalism of the current crop of Democrats could enact terrible health care legislation.

But Ed Morrissey of Hot Air thinks that this could be the high tide of Obamacare:

The Democrats wheedled, cajoled, begged, and finally abandoned its defense of abortion — truly a watershed moment — in order to get their version of ObamaCare passed … in the House of Representatives, where they enjoy a 75-seat majority.  In the end, they could only muster a five-vote win on Nancy Pelosi’s bill out of that strong majority.  Until this week, most had assumed that any ObamaCare bill would pass the House easily, but that the fight would be in the Senate.

So what does this 220-215 vote tell us?  Capitol Hill Democrats know that this bill is an albatross.  It’s true that Pelosi was able at the end to negotiate votes to allow a few at-risk Democrats that supported the bill to oppose it in the final vote, but even that tells a tale of fear and consciousness of unpopularity.  The razor-thin vote, as well as a number of earlier, more sincere defections, show that this bill was a radical and expensive approach to fix a 13% problem — and even most of the Democrats know it….

We always thought the fight was in the Senate, so the only real surprise yesterday was how weak Pelosi actually was on ObamaCare.  Our focus now has to shift to those red-state Senators who will have to explain to voters their potential support of a bill that imposes unconstitutional mandates and trillions of dollars in new costs on a government that can’t pay its bills now.  And in this case, we’ll only need two of them to stop the runaway tyranny of the Democratic agenda.

As usual, President Obama’s pitch was extremely partisan:

Mr. Obama, during his private pep talk to Democrats, recognized Mr. Owens election and then posed a question to the other lawmakers. According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, the president asked, “Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit” Democratic voters “and it will encourage the extremists.”