Good News/Bad News

October 26th, 2009at 07:26pm Posted by Eli

Well, the very good news is that for once, progressives have finally managed to do what Blue Dogs and other conservadems have been doing for as long as I can remember:

Democratic leaders were forced to include a national public health insurance option as part of health care reform by progressive Democratic senators who refused to support anything less, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Monday.

(…)

For many years, it’s been centrist and conservative-leaning senators who have been scoring legislative victories by digging in their heels, so this represented a quite dramatic turnabout. It is difficult to remember the last time that progressives won a legislative victory by laying down firm demands and sticking to them. In the House, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has found its feet, too, and is locked in a final battle with conservative Democrats over the shape of a public option.

W00t!!!  It’s about damn time!

So what’s the bad news?

“It’s a zero-sum situation,” said Durbin, who is in charge of counting votes in the Senate. “If we thought that just putting the trigger in meant that we’d end with 61 votes,” he explained, then that’s what leadership would have done.

In other words, the Democratic leadership was still perfectly happy to sabotage the public option if it would get them from Filibuster-Proof to Filibuster-Proof + 1, because bipartisanship – even token bipartisanship – is Teh Awesome.

Not to mention that the bill Reid is bringing to the floor still has a state opt-out in it, and as of right now we have no idea how easy or hard that opt-out will be to exercise.  So the public option may end up only being available to Democratic states, which is pretty crappy.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Wankers


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