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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Q&A

If you want a very detailed examination of the intra-progressive battle over the endgame of health care reform, brew yourself a pot of coffee and sit down for a while with Nate Silver’s post today wherein he poses twenty sharply worded questions to “bill-killer” advocates Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos and John Walker of FireDogLake. It becomes immediately apparent that these particular “bill-killers” aren’t just reacting to the loss of the public option as a progressive totem, but have a baleful view of the entire bill as it stands in the Senate. And a particularly large bone of contention appears to be their conviction that an individual mandate will engorge both the profit-margins and the power of private health insurers (a conviction that Nate Silver does not share).
The other important thing to note from this lengthy exchange is that these “bill-killers” are not in fact arguing for the extinction of the current drive for health care reform legislation on grounds that the product is worse than the status quo. They claim, at least, that an effort to reboot the process by killing the Senate bill and then forcing an immediate House-based drive to enact a bill via the budget reconciliation process is a feasible strategy. We’ll never know, of course, if that’s true (the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership certainly don’t think so) unless a progressive revolt against the Senate bill strikes pay-dirt.
But please read the whole thing; if nothing else, it shows that both sides of this argument (and Nate definitely argues back) are more nuanced than you might think.

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