Marketplace Scratch Pad

Oh, we may be weary

Scott Jagow Oct 29, 2009

Still excited about health care reform? Anyone? Anyone? Today’s unveiling of an $894 billion House bill that includes a public option was met with intense… ambivalence. Even the “pep” rally on Capitol Hill was a dud.

The Washington Post said the gathering was small and unenthusiastic, save for a few uninvited protesters shouting from a distance:

… health care may be hugely important, but it’s hard to get fired up about the nitty gritty of policy. “The uninsured will have access to a temporary insurance program — we’re calling it a high-risk pool — from the date of enactment until the exchange is available!” Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn told the rally.

A small number of people, many of them paid staffers standing off to the side, offered polite applause for the high risk pool.

Another reason for the malaise — the public wasn’t invited to the public unveiling of the public option. From Breitbart TV:

People may be getting exhausted from the fight over health care, but reform is going further than many expected and certainly further than the Clinton effort, so there’s something to be said for that. At the Huffington Post health analyst RJ Eskow writes:

Yes, unspoken ideologies and compromises drove this bill. Yes, the President broke some campaign promises. Yes, lobbyists have so much influence that the country didn’t get all the reform it deserved.

It’s like the old saying says: “Some days you get what you need, and some days you get what you want. But every day you get what you get.” If the end product is an imperfect reform bill, one that takes too much from the middle class in order to help those even less fortunate, that won’t be what some people wanted. But it will be be an improvement, and they’ll know the unspoken ideologies and compromises that shaped it.

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