With Monday morning's 1 a.m. 60-40 vote, the Senate's health care bill took another step towards passage, prompting a fresh round of public celebrations. "I think it's very exciting," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told HuffPost. "It's a big day."
Even many of those with serious reservations about the bill were slipping on their party hats. "Make no mistake about it," said SEIU president Andy Stern, "for working Americans, this vote signals progress."
And Paul Krugman, while calling the legislation "a seriously flawed bill we'll spend years if not decades fixing," applauded it as "an awesome achievement."
This typifies the current thinking of the "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" crowd. Unfortunately, there are three faulty premises at work in this line of reasoning. First, that those who oppose the bill do so because it's not perfect (as opposed to because it's a hot health care mess). Second, that the bill is, well, good (as opposed to a total victory for Pharma and the insurance industry -- witness the spectacular spike in health care stocks following Monday's vote).
Third is the premise that this is as good a bill as we can get right now, and we can always go back and improve it later.
There are many reasons for hoping the current Senate bill doesn't become law. But the biggest reason of all is the desperate need for a DC pattern interrupt. The desperate need to draw a line in the sand against the continued domination of our democracy -- and the continued undermining of the public interest -- by special interests.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Arianna: "The Senate Health Care Bill: Leave No Special Interest Behind"