Despite all the back-and-forth debate, heated opinions and misinformation slung from both political camps, the recent health-care-reform package passed by the House represents a true milestone in a much-needed effort to overhaul an antiquated system.

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) are to be commended for holding their ground on a bill that saw its own share of heavy compromises before it reaches a tougher Senate audience.

And while the narrow 220-215 vote in a much more liberal House will likely give some hope to a cynical Republican base that a final version will be neutered even further, its progress so far is an accomplishment few thought they’d see after the failed attempt in the Clinton era.

The status quo is no longer adequate — a fact that has been covered up with misguided and ill-informed political fear-mongering that hit its peak during the infamous town hall meetings earlier this year.

The House vote was a loud ring for progressivism that had become much too dull since the election of President Obama, who had campaigned heavily on a mandate of change.

With so many people out of work during this protracted recession, it’s hard to believe there isn’t a larger silent majority out there who wouldn’t benefit from the public health insurance option so vilified by the right.

It’s time those people, and those who support that progressive concept, let their voices be heard now. As the Senate takes the baton, those voices will become even more important in the effort to preserve what little true change was able to survive the wrangling in the House.

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