Yes, the final bill is deeply flawed. Yes, the process that led to it was woefully mishandled — right up until the very end when, as Ryan Grim points out, the votes were there for a public option that, nonetheless, wasn’t included. And yes, the Democrats once again revealed their many flaws — including just how many of them remain susceptible to the health care industry lobbyists who descended on Washington.
But there is no denying that the lives of millions of Americans will be improved because of what the Democrats have done.
Republicans, meanwhile, have been hoisted with their own deeply cynical petard. As David Frum outlines it in his must-read post-mortem, Republicans decided that there would be “no negotiations, no compromise, nothing” in the hope of turning health care into Obama’s Waterloo. In the process, they turned their back on many “traditional Republican ideas” on health care and “followed the most radical voices in the party.” …
The GOP’s toxic smokescreen of fear-mongering (“This is going to cause Armageddon”) and untruths (they want “to pull the plug on grandma”) has been blown away, revealing a party that stands unified against progress….
March 26, 2010