It Ain't Perfect, but I'd Support the Senate Health Bill
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As Al points out, Teddy Kennedy would have voted for this health care bill. I just watched Bernie Sanders and Ben Cardin explain how they secured money to forgive medical school tuition for doctors who go into primary care, which they believe will give primary care access to 20 million Americans who don't have that access now. They're voting for the bill. I'd vote for it, too. Hopefully, the bill will improve in Conference. But, considering that we had to win over all 60 members of the Democratic Caucus (including Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman) the bill we have is close to as good as could have gotten. I believe, in retrospect, Reid should have cut a deal with Snowe for her support of the base bill. With her vote secured, he wouldn't have had to make so many concessions to Nelson and Lieberman, and we'd have a triggered public option going into Conference. I am confident that we could have had that and we lost it the moment the triggerless public option was put in the base bill. Others may think Lieberman would have thrown a tantrum anyway, but I disagree. He only acted because he realized Reid had to have his vote. Nevertheless, this bill is only slightly worse than the best that could have been expected.
I know people are pissed off about that, but this was the situation from the beginning. Really, after months of lobbying and activism, nothing much really changed from the beginning to the end.