the government we deserve
T flips out every time we hear a news story about the crazy claims people are making about health insurance, because of the problem of source amnesia: people who hear a story that says "scientists have conclusively debunked claims that the moon is made of green cheese" are as likely several weeks later to think the story said "the moon is made of green cheese" as what it really did say. The White House has posted a whole "Reality Check" website, but it's not clear that the people who are susceptible to the misinformation that's out there will ever see it, or be swayed by it.
Over the weekend, the NY Times had some fascinating data on who is paying attention to the health care debate. Interestingly, Republicans were far more likely to paying close attention. My theory is that the Dems who really are passionate about health care are more likely to support single payer models, and so aren't getting as engaged in the debate. That's a mistake. I'd like to see single payer myself, but it's not happening, and while none of the proposals out there are perfect, they are a heck of a lot better than what we have now.
What I'm uncertain of is whether it's worth falling on our swords over a public option. I think there should be one, but I really don't know enough about health insurance to know if it's truly essential. And there are people I trust on both sides of the "is it essential?" debate. From a purely political perspective, while it's looking less and less likely that there will be some sort of centrist agreement on a health care proposal, I think it would look really bad if there was one and the Dems killed it because it didn't have a public option.
Certainly, if we're going to wind up passing health care without a single Republican vote (which is starting to seem possible), it had darned well better include a public option.