In ably explaining why all the passion that drove the public option campaign back in 2009 completely disappeared after Obamacare passed and hasn’t reemerged in this primary, the liberal writer Digby has opened the door further to a possible resolution to the fight Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are waging over single payer.
“The public option was an idea championed by the progressive left during the health care fight,” Digby writes. “And unlike conservatives, when liberals lose a fight like that they walk away instead of doubling down. They accept the defeat as final. But progressives persist in calling for single payer because that’s really a value, not just a policy. … If Democrats were more like Republicans they would have turned the words ‘Public Option’ into a mantra and kept at it the way the conservatives did about ‘death taxes’ and ‘tort reform.’ … I think this one may have been a missed opportunity.”
If you put yourself in the shoes of public option advocates, her explanation makes even more sense. They didn’t interpret that defeat as a matter of insufficient political support, but of betrayal by the White House and the whole class of Democrats who now want Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. Last time they rallied around a half-loaf health plan because of the promise of the public option, they got swindled. So, fool me once…
But this is why Sanders throwing his weight behind using the public option as a vehicle to migrate toward single payer is probably key to its resurrection. It would also be a political coup for him.
– New Republic