It’s not the bill progressives hoped for. But it’s the bill that can pass, now.
And here’s what happens if a bill isn’t passed now: Democrats lose seats — maybe a lot of seats — in the 2010 midterms. A weakened President Obama wins reelection, maybe - but even that isn’t certain. No way he has the votes for another try at health care before 2015. Quite possibly, there isn’t another chance until 2021.
Some people say that we should throw it away and start over; is this what they have in mind? Because that’s the reality of what would happen.
We can come back to this. Progressives can push for bigger subsidies; stronger exchanges; a reinstated public option; stronger cost controls. Some of these things can be done through reconciliation. Having this bill in place will make it easier, not harder, to do these things than having passed nothing.
I’m not happy — this is too flawed a bill for joy — but I am relieved (or will be once I’m sure that Joe Lieberman isn’t going to pull a double-cross). You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.
Unfortunately, I think he's right, dammit. Please read it.