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Open Left pings yours truly. I'm not sure that being a little ahead of public opinion is so damning. The public is assessing events and characters all the time. Look at polling on Iraq and Afghanistan over the last eight years - my own evolution is echoed by those of many, many others. And since I'm paid to think about this stuff all the time, I should probably be criticized for not being ahead of the curve enough. But on the public option, I'm still behind. I don't want to see a stealth government take-over of private health insurance, but I can see the case for a limited public option. Clear restrictions on the buying power of such a program would ease my concern. But if a public option can streamline overhead, pioneer less bureaucracy, and keep the private sector on its toes - as public universities can private ones - I'm not opposed. Why would anyone be? The key is reining in its unfair advantages while encouraging its fair ones.

And if the critical issue becomes affordability of private health insurance, even with subsidies, a public option seems to me to be all the more important as a cost-controller. I have a feeling it will pass, by the way. The logic of the current process - now that the GOP has decided to be purely obstructionist - almost compels it.

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