A few more health care thoughts

1) All the public option absolutists should be tied up and forced read Jacob Hacker— the political scientist who basically invented the public option– advocate for passing the final bill.  Key point– work for more subsidies/affordability; we can still make progress there.  

2) Did the Republicans totally misplay their cards?  Jonathan Chait says yes.  Key point: Democratic moderates were so desperate for a "bipartisan" bill, that they would have been willing to sign off on pretty weak reform– much weaker than we got– if only some Republicans had been willing to actually (rather than pretend to) play ball.

3) Speaking of which, was Olympia Snowe actually acting in good faith earlier, or simply doing her best to remain the belle of the press corps ball as a beloved Senate "moderate"?  The final Senate bill has pretty much everything she wanted, so she's left to explain her "no" vote by saying the process was too rushed.  Riiiight– it was too quick. 

4) Pretty interesting story of how the Dem Senators finally worked out a bill with Ben Nelson on abortion.  It's pretty ridiculous, with all that's at stake in this, how much attention has been focused on such a tangential issue to the major aspects of health care reform. 

5) Nonetheless, Bart Stupak has now vowed to deny health insurance to millions of people because he doesn't like the Senate compromise.  I wish bad things for him.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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