Saturday, March 20, 2010

The return of the public option


Apparently, if Sen. Harry Reid is to be believed (and why not?), we haven't seen the end of the public option just yet:

Hoping to assuage progressive Democrats who remain disappointed with the content of the health care reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) committed on Friday to holding a separate vote on a public option in the coming months.

In a letter to two of his more progressive colleagues in the Senate -- Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- the Nevada Democrat implicitly apologized for his inability to get a government-run insurance plan into the final piece of health care legislation and promised to keep working to get the policy into law.

Well, well.

I'm all for this, and I hope Reid does in fact move forward with a concerted effort to supplement the Senate's health-care reform package with a robust public option.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The House has to pass the current reform bill first, the Senate has to add the necessary patches, and the president has to sign what is a genuinely historic reform package into law.

Then we can move forward.

As I have been saying all along, however flawed the Senate bill, or "Obamacare," it could very well be the thin end of the wedge that leads to further and perhaps even more transformative reform down the road.

As Penny Lane might say, "it's all happening." Let's just hope the Democrats don't screw it up.

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Speaking of which, from my favourite movie of the last decade, Almost Famous:

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