Friday, January 22, 2010

Blow Chunks

The latest trial balloon from the House Democrats is to pass healthcare piecemeal:

Freaked out and angry House Democrats don’t know how to move forward on health care reform. But a significant contingent say it’s time to radically rethink the approach: Instead of passing comprehensive reform, these Democrats say they should break the House’s health care bill into chunks, pass their favorite ones, and send them over to the Senate to see if they can pass.

The gambit is political: get Republicans on the record opposing changes to unpopular insurance industry practices. But it comes with hidden dangers, both politically and substantively. And leading health care experts and advocates say these Democrats need to get real.

Paul Krugman has a ready reply.

A message to House Democrats: This is your moment of truth. You can do the right thing and pass the Senate health care bill. Or you can look for an easy way out, make excuses and fail the test of history.

We’re way beyond worrying about the political aspects of this sad situation. The Democrats are worried about being perceived as weak and feckless? Are you kidding? See that smudge of smoke on the horizon? Yeah, that’s the ship that’s already sailed on that. So the best they can do to salvage what’s left of their dignity is to butch it up, suck it up, know that some of their most vulnerable members are going to lose in November, and do what’s right for the millions of people who don’t have any kind of health insurance or those who stand to lose it between now and the time they actually come up with something in 2025.

To quote Steve Benen: Pass. The. Damn. Bill.