The American government structure is bi-polar and so the nation always moves like a sailboat into the wind, first tacking right, then tacking left. When we move right, all the lefties complain like crazy but that cannot stop the boat from moving right; when we tack to the left, all the righties go ballistic, but that cannot stop the boat from moving to the left.
Our system is built on permanent conflict with power alternating like a pendulum.
So: duh! OF COURSE the Republicans will oppose, oppose, oppose, as Brooks says. That’s their dang job. But that cannot stop health care reform from coming, because the Democrats have control of House, Senate and Presidency.
However, our health system will not transform overnight, and so in the coming decades we will continue to refine it, upgrade it, change it, reverse it, etc. When the Republicans get back into power, as they always do, they’ll try to scale back whatever Obama has accomplished, and the Democrats will oppose, oppose, oppose. Brooks and Collins will still be debating (I'm sure they get great health insurance at the Times).
There is a better way of sailing towards Utopia, but it can only be implemented when and if Americans begin to realize they live under a duo-polistic mafia run by an homogeneous oligarchy of politicians, who require conflict to stay in power and further their careers.