Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic's health policy expert and one of the most trenchant observers of the intersection between policy and politics in Washington, has read through the summary of the 582-page draft of the House's Tricom health care bill. He likes it:
"...[I]f the House follows through with money to pay for this program--a big "if," yes--then this proposal seems eminently sensible, at least upon first inspection. And the politics may not be quite as difficult as they seem. Remember, many of the propositions that alienate special interests and conservatives happen to be pretty popular with the voters. Reform will not make it through the process in this pristine form, obviously. But a bill like this change the parameters of debate, improving the final compromise.
I've contacted about a half-dozen friendly liberal wonks in the last 90 minutes, since the draft became public. Everybody seemed pleased. (One actually said "Boffo!") It's possible that they are as desperate as I've been for encouraging news; maybe impressions will sour as a fuller picture of the House proposal emerges. But, for the moment, this seems like good news.