Ezra Klein has about had it with activist/netroots threats to oppose health care reform if there’s no public option, and he calls the meeting to order:
The achievement of this bill is $900 billion to help people purchase health-care coverage, a new market that begins to equalize the conditions of the unemployed and the employed, and a regulatory structure in which this country can build, for the first time, a universal health-care system. Thousands and thousands of lives will be saved by this bill. Bankruptcies will be averted. Rescission letters won’t be sent. Parents won’t have to fret because they can’t take their child, or themselves, to the emergency room. This bill will, without doubt, do more good than any single piece of legislation passed during my (admittedly brief) lifetime. If it passes, the party that fought for it for decades deserves to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Yes, it’s a shame to have to give in to extortion by the likes of Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman. But even in raw political terms the activist threat is lunacy. If we pick up three more seats next November, we won’t have to do that quite so often. If the Democrats can’t get a bill on the President’s desk, the only question is how many seats the Democrats will lose.
And that’s even before you notice that letting people die for lack of health coverage in order to express your dislike of Blue Dogs is pretty damned sick.
Footnote Here’s an especially egregious example of infantile behavior: a single-payer advocate, a member of a group that wants to scrap the whole reform effort and start from scratch, arguing that a bill that extends medical coverage, caps out-of-pocket expenses, and forbids recissions and exclusions of pre-existing conditions won’t do anything to reduce the number of medical bankruptcies. Could any sane person seriously believe that?