When Obama signs the largest government expansion of entitlements since the introduction of Medicare, he will be ensuring that health care becomes an even more contentious political issue from now on.
For liberals, the legislation doesn't go far enough. And in the coming years, they will continue to push for tighter regulations on insurance companies, higher subsidies for purchasing coverage and for the inclusion of a government-run plan in the exchanges. Further, those who still believe the legislation is insufficient will continue to press for a single-payer system.
In the meantime, conservatives will begin the immediate drive to legally overturn and/or legislatively repeal the health care bill, or at least scale back its major provisions. Even if none of the efforts to overturn or repeal the health care legislation finds success, the implementation of "Obamacare" will help clarify for the American people what it means to have the government take such an active role in the medical system.
As I argued back in November, the experience of other countries suggests that once the more influence the government exerts over the health care sector, the more it infects the political debate.