Four weeks ago, I wrote a post “Real Health Reform or Nothing!” that made the case that if we can’t get real health care reform, then progressives in Congress should vote to kill the bill. At the time, I received some emails from people who implied that I was crazy.
So, yesterday, FireDogLake posted “Without a public option, Obama’s health plan must die“. Their point is basically the same as mine — that a bill with a mandate requiring coverage, without a public option, is a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry that will do nothing to bring down the cost of health care. In fact, it may accelerate the rise in the cost of health insurance, since everyone will be required to purchase it no matter how high the cost.
So Democrats have a choice. Failing to pass health care reform may be a huge blow to the Dems. But passing a health care reform bill that requires everyone to pay for health insurance, while costing taxpayers lots of money that goes directly into the pockets of corporations, will probably be a larger blow in the long run (i.e., by the time of the next election).
Let’s be clear — the goal of the Republicans is not to kill health care reform, it is to kill the Democratic party and Obama. This point is well made by an editorial in the NY Daily News:
The most violent opposition isn’t directed at his ideas about health care reform. It is directed at him. It is about him. They couldn’t make enough of a majority to beat the Harvard-educated black guy out of the White House, so they will beat him on an issue where they see him as being most vulnerable.
In the process, they’ll come after him on health care the way Kenneth Starr went after Bill Clinton on oral sex in the Oval Office.
UPDATE: Electoral Vote has a good discussion about health care reform that has an interesting viewpoint. I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions, but he supplies good information.