Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cautiously Looking at Some Encouraging Words

In the midst of the pessimism and despair about the Senate Health Bill, I'd like to inject a couple of brighter notes from my morning's reading. First, Paul Krugman's column Illusions and Bitterness begins with these thoughts:
There’s enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill — and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That’s why progressive health policy wonks — the people who have campaigned for health reform for years — are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.
This is good to know. But my favorite quote in the column is this one where he gets Joe Lieberman just right:
And the truth is that health care reform was probably doomed to be deeply imperfect. As Ezra Klein pointed out a few weeks ago, we’re basically in a hostage situation: progressives really, really want to cover the uninsured, while centrists whose votes are needed can take it or leave it. So the centrists have a lot of power — which in the case of Joe Lieberman means the power to double-cross and indulge his pettiness.
With a little more substance, Joe Podesta at the Center for American Progress has many words of encouragement in this morning's Progress Report: The Progressive Case for Passing the Senate Health Bill. The article concludes with this:
Drawing on his personal experience from having "a ringside seat for the slow death of comprehensive care in 1994," Podesta notes, "I am keenly aware of the real alternative to the bills now before us: millions more Americans without health care and billions more for health care spending as the same challenges President Clinton tried to resolve continue to metastasize unchecked." Stalwart progressive leaders like Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) believe that the bill represents the best chance for passing health care reform in the foreseeable future. "I'm going to vote for it," Brown told reporters. "I can't imagine I wouldn't. I mean there's too much at stake."
It's quite unlike me, but I am taking heart from this, and hoping that the bill, as imperfect as it certainly is, will act as, if nothing else, a big foot in the door of this much needed reform.

posted at 12:52:00 PM by marigolds2

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