So it's not perfect. But these columnists agree that the Baucus bill, or something like it, is probably the best chance for health care reform anyone is going to get this year. Three takes on what to do with the flawed legislation.
- Make it Stronger or it Will be Worse Than No Bill at All, Paul Krugman says at The New York Times. "The insurance industry, of course, loves the Baucus plan. Need we say more?" Krugman says the time for bipartisanship has long ago passed. "It would be disastrous if health care goes the way of the economic
stimulus plan, earlier this year. As you may recall, that plan -- which
was clearly too weak even as originally proposed -- was made even
weaker to win the support of three Republican senators. If the same
thing happens to health reform, progressives should and will walk away."
- Pass the Bill For a Political Win, John Dickerson advises Dems at Slate. "So a long, slow, we're-trying-our-best-to-meet-them-halfway process may help
Obama cement his appeal to independents. Even under the worst-case
scenario--if all of this delay and outreach fails to attract a single
Republican supporter--Obama can point to the Baucus bill process and
say they were patient, endured the political hits during delay and
tried to compromise."
- The Bill Is Almost There, Ron Brownstein says at The Atlantic. "Baucus has
advanced the historic Democratic cause of providing health security to
all Americans by demonstrating that it can be compatible with fiscal
responsibility and long-term cost control."
- Forget the Republicans. Pass the Bill Now, USA Today warns Democrats. "For Republicans to insist on starting over at this point is
disingenuous; 2010 is a congressional election year, when the chances
for a bipartisan deal, or even a deal that unites Democrats, will be
even more dismal."
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