Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pass the damn bill (#11) - Matt Yglesias

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who has been insisting that he would vote against the health care reform bill because it doesn't meet his tests of ultra-"progressive" ideological purity, has decided that he doesn't want to wind up playing the role that Ralph Nader played in the 2000 Presidential election. Whatever processes of reasoning and persuasion may have led Kucinich to this conclusion, it's good news. These days, every vote counts.

Matt Yglesias used this news as the occasion for a concise and cogent summation of the reasons why Passing the damn bill is the right thing to do now, despite its flaws, gaps, and half-measures:
Compared to the health care system I would like to see, this bill doesn’t cover enough people, doesn’t do enough to control costs, doesn’t do enough to emphasize prevention and public health, and is too soft on the health care industry. But relative to the status quo, this bill covers a lot of people, helps to control costs, emphasizing prevention and public health, and [reins] in the health care industry. The reasons to be disappointed with this bill are all reasons to be disappointed with the status quo, and the disappointing nature of the status quo is a reason to be enthusiastic about this bill. What’s more, if the bill passes you can pass more bills in the future! If it fails, politicians won’t want to touch health care again for decades.
--Jeff Weintraub