Back in September, I wrote a piece for this blog and Open Salon speculating on whether liberals would have to mobilize to kill the healthcare reform bill in order to save the idea of real healthcare reform. Now, with “reform” firmly in the hands of Joe Lieberman and the “pass anything” crowd in the White House, that idea is gaining currency across the netroots. For the record, I doubt very seriously that such a thing could happen, since virtually all of the liberal Senate Democrats seem to have resigned themselves to defeat, and are grimly standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Lieberman and Harry Reid to try and convince the Democratic base that the bill which will likely pass the Senate before Christmas really isn’t all that bad. Really… Still, the idea of killing the bill entirely, and running on that in 2010 isn’t dead outside of Washington. Read the original post here.
UPDATE: The Plumline reports that in an interview on Vermont radio, Howard Dean calls on liberal Democrats to kill the Senate bill rather than give in to Lieberman’s blackmail. This is a significant development, as Dr. Dean is said to have been called in by Harry Reid to help craft the deal that put Medicare 55 on the table. And while his plan will not likely be adopted in the Senate, it could mean that those who listen to Dean — namely progressive Democrats in the party base, will remain unpersuaded that what comes out of the Senate is real reform. That makes the WH job a lot harder going forward … More to come…
Meanwhile, TNR’s Jonathan Cohn begins the painstaking process of talking down the base, saying essentially, it could have been worse: Lieberman and/or conservative Democrats could have tried to gut more salient provisions in the bill. But even with everything the insurance industry hated stripped out of the bill, Lieberman still won’t give an ironclad commitment to vote for it.
UPDATE 2: The Plumline heads for happy hour, but not before running down the “kill bill” or “don’t kill bill” debate. The lineup:
The debate continues to rage over whether to kill the bill, and I’ll admit that the breakdown isn’t as simplistic as I’d said. Interesting takes in favor of moving forward from Josh Marshall, Steve Benen, Paul Starr, Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, and Matthew Yglesias.