WaPo has an article up, (found via Greg Sargent) which reports that there are (allegedly?) 128 (!) House Democrats who are going to push this idea again...but this time, with an emphasis on the much-ballyhooed "deficit reduction" that seems to be the prominent media meme these days.
This article doesn't actually link to anything else to provide proof of the 128 Democrats, but it does quote Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Lynn Woolsey saying that this would be pushed "in the next Congress".
"There is all this concern about the deficit," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., a leading champion of the proposal. "Well, guess what, this would reduce the deficit because it saves so much money." Woolsey and her allies, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Fortney "Pete" Stark of California, are armed with a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It projects the public option could save the federal government $68 billion between 2014 an 2020, according to Democrats.Emphasis is mine.
A government plan could save money with lower administrative costs and by paying hospitals and doctors less than commercial insurance plans, analysts have said; that could result in lower premiums and lower government subsidies for Americans who choose that plan over plans offered by commercial insurers.
Insurance companies, hospitals and other businesses say a public option would undermine existing employer-provided insurance and set the stage for a single-payer system.
Don't expect any Republican budget hawks to sign on, either (even though the $68 billion coincidentally matches the savings that the leading House GOP health-care proposal would have generated, according to CBO).
I have not heard of this new CBO report, and a quick Googling of it doesn't produce an immediate result other than this story and one or two other references to same story.
Now, I think many of us would be pretty quick to ignore this. The Public Option fight did not go so well, single payer is better, etc, etc. Those are all points that could be re-hashed to death.
You could also make a cynical point that waiting till the next Congress would mean nothing gets done after Democrats lose some of their majority. This is also possible, and not something that is lost on me.
But suppose just for a second that this is actually a fight that is pushed. Instead of backing whatever the Catfood Commission decides has to be done to Social Security to screw everyone over in the name of "deficit reduction", what if Democrats actually start saying "Well you know, we can save billions of dollars over the next half a decade by giving people a better choice in health care..."
To quote the President, this is a fight I'm willing to have.
Is anyone else? I kind of suspect that most aren't, but in a political climate of a bunch of cynicism and negativity, if there's anything that we could look forward to as a fight worth having, if these Democrats actually have any inclination to having this fight...I believe we should support them.