by Ben Cohen
Paul Krugman is optimistic that healthcare reform with some sort of public option will pass, mostly because corporate Democrats have been isolated:
Democrats who probably don’t really want reform have lost what they
had in 1993: safety in numbers. It’s one thing to let health care die
quietly; it’s another to be one of the, say, two Democratic senators
responsible for denying cloture and blocking the party’s most important
domestic policy initiative since Medicare, and then to be blamed,
rightly or wrongly, for big losses in the midterms.
So the odds now are that the thing hangs together, and reform is indeed enacted this year.
However, Krugman warns that the end result will be far from perfect:
It will be a highly flawed product; we’ll probably spend much of the next decade trying to fix it.
Although progressives will inevitably claim victory should it pass, it is vitally important that they focus on the details of the bill. If it's bad (and it most likely will be), it may be worth voting down because a bad bill will do more to damage healthcare reform prospects in the long term. The Republicans will jump on it as proof 'government run insurance doesn't work', and we'll be back to square one again.