With Congress' annual August recess looming, neither the Senate nor the House will be meeting President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaReport: FCC chair to push for complete repeal of net neutrality Right way and wrong way Keystone XL pipeline clears major hurdle despite recent leak MORE's deadline for votes on health-care reform before they leave town. And that's just as well.

It's better for Congress to move deliberately in reconfiguring a system that accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy and affects every American.

... The latest plans for reform ... have only been taking shape over the past few weeks. They are enormously complex, and still undergoing revisions. If lawmakers acted on a plan before going home, few would have more than a rough idea what they were voting on.

... The damage done by spiraling health-care costs ... make[s] it imperative for reform to rein in costs even as it expands coverage to the uninsured. Yet the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office testified this month that the leading plan in the House would not contain costs. That's reason enough for lawmakers to take more time to get reform right.

... Even though Democrats have commanding majorities in both chambers of Congress, it's better for such a sweeping undertaking to be bipartisan. That's more likely if Democrats and Republicans alike are willing to give a fair hearing to a variety of ideas ...