Public Option, We Hardly Knew Ye

It looks like the public option is dead.  Stand by for Jay Rockefeller's creative reasoning as to why it's a great bill even without a public option. 

Ultimately, the problem for liberals is that they can't make a credible commitment not to vote for any bill.  They've got too much invested in health care reform to make the perfect the enemy of the good.  So naturally their concerns are going to get thrown out of the sled when the wolves get too close.

The big remaining issue is the subsidies.  Make them too big, and your constituents will murder you because their taxes will go up.  Make them too small, and your constituents will murder you because they have an expensive new mandate to buy insurance.  I'm not sure there is any "just right" in this scenario.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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