Always The Worrier

Josh Marshall asks:

Am I the only one who thinks that if the Dems pass a bill with mandates and subsidies for poor and moderate income people to purchase it but no public option or competition with the insurers, that it will be pretty much a catastrophe for the Democrats in political terms?

Well I don't buy this at all. It seems to me that a healthcare plan that expands access, removes obvious cruelties and inefficiencies, allows more people into the system and can be plausibly described as universal coverage would be the biggest Democratic policy victory in decades. And I think rejecting this because it doesn't have an immediate public option would be the only truly disastrous move - you get called a socialist and a failure. I think Obama should do what Bush did: pass the popular stuff but, unlike Bush, pay for it in the budget. Then he should turn around and ask the party of alleged fiscal conservatism to come up with the spending cuts their base is now demanding to get us back to balanced budgets within his first term. Ask the GOP to present a balanced budget for Medicare, Medicaid and defense. Call their bluff.

Or maybe I've been off-grid for too long and am being too complacent. Wednesday night will be interesting.