Media Matters For America e-mails to point out: "our new post highlighting the premature criticism of the incomplete, preliminary first-draft of the health care bill..." Bolds in original. Yes, I get it. It's incomplete and preliminary. Yes, the numbers will change. That's not really the point here, at least from the perspective of those who want a health care to pass. It's the wisdom of submitting a partial bill to the CBO, whose numbers are treated as sacrosanct. And to be completely honest, it's not at all clear that the deficit projections reported by the CBO will significantly decrease when the HELP bill is submitted in its entirety, though the proportion of those covered will certainly increase. Politicians have to pay attention to politics, and it's just bad form to have the CBO score your (admittedly partial) bill as deficit-enhancing on the same day the president promises that health care's going to be revenue neutral.
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.