The narrow margin that carried the Nancy Pelosi/Barack Obama health care bill to victory in the House late Saturday should inform the Senate as it finalizes its own plan.
The bill passed 220-215 with one Republican siding with the majority and 39 mostly moderate and conservative Democrats joining opponents. This is an economy busting bill devised and passed by liberal Democrats who largely ignored appeals for moderation.
A measure that will impact every American and greatly rework the nation's health care system should not be rammed through in such a divisive way. The Senate's task is to scale back the expense and scope of the bill to something more palatable to the broadest number while favoring less disruptive, incremental change at a time when the economy can ill afford higher taxes and deeper deficits.
Concerns and questions about the bill were waved away by the House majority. But they must be forthrightly dealt with by the Senate.
Above all else is the cost. Democrats estimate the cost at $1.2 trillion over the next decade, but have worked feverishly to repress credible, contrary estimates that the true expense will be $2 trillion or more. The plan will levy taxes for 10 years to pay for six years of benefits, suggesting that in the second decade the annual costs will explode.