The Genius of the Opt Out

The opt-out portion of the health care bill isn’t ideal in my view (any bill that

leaves people uncovered isn’t great), but it does leave a huge opening

to prove that a public option is a good idea. And as Andrew Sullivan points out, that’s enough to put the fear of God into the Republicans, and quell the paranoia that government is trying to takeover healthcare. And from a political point of view, it has the potential to be devastating:

The genius of the opt-out is that it coopts the states’ rights

argument (just as ending the prohibition on marijuana does); it has the

potential to make “liberalism’ popular again; it has easily demonized

opponents – the health insurance industry; and it forces Republicans

not to rail against socialism in the abstract but to oppose actual

benefits for the working poor in reality.

It’s a brutal, Chicago-style political maneuver. And Obama appears not to be the person really pushing it.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.