08 October 2009

Optional Public Option ?? And a Comment on the possibility that Progressives could flee the Democratic Party

Part of me is very suspicious of the Schumer/Carper "Optional Public Option" proposal, but Howard Dean is supporting it. It seems to me that if we get a real public option that states can opt out of, and it is seen after a few years to work (by providing genuine cost savings over the 20% administrative/profits waste of for-profit private insurers), then eventually no states will opt out anyway. But, as always, the devil's in the details.

UPDATE:  (10/9) I am now even more suspicious of this move, which I'm now thinking is intended as a distraction, to derail a real public option and ensure that only a watered-down version is actually enacted.

Apropos, Democrats who fail to act like real Democrats are driving this party to schism. Increasingly, people who consider themselves progressive feel alienated in the Democratic party and are casting their gaze afield wondering if somewhere, somehow, there might be a really progressive political movement in this country that actually stood a chance of electing people who would vote for what a majority of the people demonstrably favor. Populism isn't an ideology, and it is not impossible that much of the ignorant populist rage on the Right, which right now looks like it will materialize as votes for Republicans, could be harnessed by a Populist Party on the left. It hasn't happened in a long, long time, but if the predictions of a double dip recession and institutionalized unemployment lasting decades turn out to be correct, I wouldn't rule it out.

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