The last, best hope for a “bipartisan” health bill in the Senate is the bill currently being negotiated by six people in the office of Senate Finance Committee chairman and apparent brain-hungry zombie Max Baucus (D-MT, pictured). What will a bill with “bipartisan” support look like?
Well, there will be no public option, because the relatively few Republican senators who would ever vote for healthcare reform would never vote for a public option. So, I’ll repeat Jonathan Cohn’s question: Why, exactly, are would-be healthcare reformers working so hard to appease people who don’t actually want to reform healthcare? (Howard Dean has a similar question; Hendrik Hertzberg has an answer: it’s because the Senate is an awful place.)
Oh, and speaking of wrongheaded opposition to a public option, Paul Krugman has a hi-larious anecdote about how “socialized medicine” is opposed most vehemently by people who already have it and don’t know it.
And here’s a look at the co-op system that might come out of the bill instead of a public option. It might not be awful! But that’s not really the point, is it.