Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is a deeply flawed healthcare bill better than no bill at all? Yes. Pass it. Please.

Now that the Democrats seem to have their 60 votes lined up to pass the Senate bill, the question is, should they pass it -- or has it been so compromised that no bill is better than the one under consideration? Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone is among the liberals who say no, start over. Taibbi argued against passage on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS last night.
Taibbi argues that the bill "doesn't address the two biggest problems with the health care crisis... and additionally is a big give-away to the insurance companies." He says there will be better chances for reform in the future, "I think it's much better for the Democrats to lose on this issue and then have to regroup maybe eight years later, six years later, and try again and do a better job the next time then to have it go through."
I like Taibbi, but to this I've got to say, "Are you totally out of your mind?" We don't have "maybe eight years, six years." Millions people are suffering right now, and need what even a compromised bill offers. Everyone would benefit from the ban on pre-existing conditions. Etc.

Besides, if Obama loses this one, I think there's a good chance that Sarah Palin will become the first successful third party candidate for president in 2012, winning a three-way race pitting her against a weakened president with a reputation for ineffectuality and a clueless Republican.

I'm with Krugman on this. Pass the bill.
Whereas flawed social insurance programs have tended to get better over time, the story of health reform suggests that rejecting an imperfect deal in the hope of eventually getting something better is a recipe for getting nothing at all. Not to put too fine a point on it, America would be in much better shape today if Democrats had cut a deal on health care with Richard Nixon, or if Bill Clinton had cut deal with moderate Republicans back when they still existed.
This isn't the time to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Pass the bill.


Anonymous said...

the Krugster put up a couple of blog posts today reinforcing that column that you linked to. after reading both i went yeahyeahyeah okay ... still not happy about it but Mister Nobel Prize Winner makes a good case / argument for passage.

and anybody who can work in this famous line from this famous song by this famous band is someone to have on your side ( or rather you should be on their side )

Anonymous said...

but while we hold our noses to ward off the stench of the senate version of HCR, one should take time to read this powerful piece:

How the White House Misjudged the Political Landscape

and while reading i was thinking "hey rahm emmanuel we ain't in chicago no more you pos fip".

Anonymous said...

Congressional staffers turn lobbyists: Health care lobby drafts army of insiders to help fight overhaul

Former staffers of lawmakers from Harry Reid to Mitch McConnell push clients' agenda,0,4862599.story

obviously, at some point, probably the sooner the better, the usa is going to have to outlaw this activity ( and the positions and the money and the graft and the bribery ). otherwise democracy is going to disappear and this country will cease to exist.