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View Diary: If this bill is so good for insurers and so bad for Dems ... (204 comments)

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  •  Things are only good or bad in comparison (0+ / 0-)

    to other things.  Surgery is bad.  No surgery can be worse.

    Where you and I seem to disagree is that even if reconciliation doesn't work (as I, but not you, expect), we still have tools to win both the political and the policy fight over even the Liebercare bill.

    Is the mandate in the absence of a public option the thing that's likely to kill us?  OK, then -- if we can't get a public option through reconciliation, then force a vote on rolling back the universality of the mandate.  If the bill passes on Lincoln's Birthday, introduce the rollback legislation on Valentine's Day.

    Once we have the basic bill, we have the Republicans in a bind.  When we propose changing the mandate -- or, I think what I'd do is conditioning the percentage of people subject to the mandate on the percentage of the population that has access to affordable health care, what I'm calling a "triggered universal mandate" -- then what the hell are the Republicans supposed to do?

    If they vote with us to roll back or condition the unpopular mandate, then the problem is solved -- the bill, as it ends up, will no longer destroy the Democratic Party in 2010 and 2012.  We win.

    If they vote against us to retain the mandate, then we are the ones who campaign against it, saying that we need more Democrats to be able to fix it.  In that case, all of the things that you and Dean expect to work to our detriment instead work to our benefit.  We can strip all of the unpopular and evil stuff out of the bill once it's passed.  And if we fail to achieve it in 2010, we can try again in 2011, and 2012 ....  We can be the heroes.

    The trick would be to get the party leaders to go for this, even though it would be considered dirty pool by the Villagers.  But it's so obviously good politics that I think that with good lobbying -- your specialty -- we could convince the party leaders that they had to do this.  That's the fight I want to win.

    This is the reason that I don't see reconciliation as do or die.  I'd love for it to work, but there is a Plan B, and it's just not that shabby.

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