Monday, October 26, 2009

Josh Marshall Explains the 'Opt-Out' Compromise.

Now that Reid has announced that his bill will include the public option with an "opt-out" for the states, we can start to get an idea of how this bill might work and how the "opt-out" has proven a helpful political tool. From TalkingPointsMemo:

And there's one other part to this -- momentum in the favor of full opt-in. Just as people rail against 'government health care' and love their Medicare, there's good reason to believe that the Public Option will have been a lot scarier as a GOP straw man and a Glenn Beck temper tantrum than it will as a real world option for people who can't get private coverage. And if the public option is available in North Carolina, just to pick a hypothetical, and not South Carolina, after a while, people in the South Carolina might start to wonder what the logic was of denying them a lower cost health insurance option. And if that's true, presumably, pressure will build in the opt-out states to opt-in. So even if a substantial number of people aren't covered at the start, there's good reason to believe that will change over time.

I think he's dead on with the need to give Republicans and moderate Democrats cover for voting for the bill. The rabid Republican base and the way this reform has been scorned in the media has made some senators wary of standing up against criticism. This just might be enough to garner 60 votes. And I can't wait to see how it plays out with the states.



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