Putting aside for a moment that the Senate health bill is not the final bill (something the media and some on the Left seem to forget), is the current form of the legislation worth passing from a Democratic perspective? The answer is an absolute YES, and here are some reasons why.
Matt Yglesias of Think Progress and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post are two of the most intelligent Progressive bloggers, particularly when it comes to health care. Here are their thoughts on the Senate bill.
But to repeat—despite flaws, I think this is an excellent piece of legislation. Among other things, it represents a return, after fifteen years, of the idea that congress should be trying to pass major legislation that tackles major national problems. And even beyond that, it restores an even longer-lost tradition of congress trying to pass major legislation on specifically progressive priorities. Link
Yglesias also provides a more constructive strategy to Democrats who are not happy with the bill (versus slamming the President and other Democrats at a fever almost pitch equal to Teabaggers).
I’m sure there are other action-items people can think of. But I wanted to make clear that my point about Weber this morning wasn’t just that people should meekly accept compromises. It’s that you accept compromises and then keep on working to build more political power. You do it by contacting members. You do it by urging friends and colleagues to contact members. You do it by donating to and volunteering for good candidates. You do it by turning out and voting for the better candidate in the race even when that candidate is disappointing. You do it by urging viable candidates to mount risky primary challenges against incumbents who don’t reflect the real possibilities of their constituency. You do it by staying engaged, and working hard. Link
This is a good bill. Not a great bill, but a good bill. Imagine telling a Democrat in the days after the 2004 election that the 2006 election would end Republican control of Congress, the 2008 election would return a Democrat to the White House, and by the 2010 election, Democrats would have passed a bill extending health-care coverage to 94 percent of Americans, securing trillions of dollars in subsidies for low-income Americans (the bill's $900 billion cost is calculated over 10 years, but the subsidies continue indefinitely into the future), and imposing a raft of new regulations on private insurers. It is, without doubt or competition, the single largest social policy advance since the Great Society. Link
Al Giordano, who more than any other blogger, understands President Obama and is political strategy, sums up the choice that Democrats face:
And if this once in a lifetime chance to get the foot in the door with a health care law through Congress falters, it will likely be another 60 years before there will be another.
The unsubstantiated claims that this bill can be ripped up and the process can start anew ignore the lessons of the last six decades of US history. As Ted Kennedy understood, every issue has its moment and the iron has to be struck while it is hot. When “Hillarycare” crashed and burned in the 1990s, was there a second chance a year later? Nope. Not until now. If this bill gets killed, the game is over. That’s the fire that the bill killers are playing with.
Do it for the 30 million uninsured. Or if you don’t really care about poor and working folks (as seems evident to me reading the bill-killers’ “look at ME!” discourse) then at least go out and win this one - or get out of the way - for Teddy. Link