If the blue dogs and conservadems change their minds, then Congress will come around to some form of PO, if they don’t we may get no PO, and also mandatory insurance from the “murder-by-spreadsheet” types. Or even if we get a PO, it may only be enough to increase the chances that politicians can convince people that they delivered for them; but not the kind of PO that might, possibly, solve any of our problems, and it may also do us the damage of freezing health insurance reform until 2015. I’d hate to see that happen in return for a sham PO that has almost no effect on the insurance companies. But I’m afraid that may be the outcome of the kind of “common sense” we’ve been getting from the blue dogs, Rahm, and the President, rather than the outcome of Mike’s scenario.
The question which always arises at this point in a pessimistic scenario, is what should the progressives do if a sham PO bill is presented to them in the final stages of the legislative process? In that case, I think they need to defeat such a bill if they can. If they don’t, they, and the Democratic Party, will bear the responsibility for its passage, and its failure, and the Republicans will return to power sooner, rather than later, and then the United States will accelerate its ruinous march toward plutocracy.
But, if the progressives do defeat such a bill, then the Administration and the blue dogs cannot afford to give up. They cannot take no for an answer. They need a health insurance reform bill, even if it is a progressive bill with a robust PO, and even if its passage means a flood of campaign funds into the coffers of their Republican opposition, because having a bill they can sell as a success is a necessary condition for their re-election, and they can certainly sell that kind of bill as a success; and as Mike Lux says, they can always, in the end, get money another way.