The progressive movement should “hang Sen. Joe Lieberman in effigy” for his opposition to the public option, but the Senate should still move forward and pass the controversial health care legislation, writes Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman.
“A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you’re disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable. But meanwhile, pass the health care bill,” writes Krugman in The New York Times.
But, Krugman points out, from the social democrat point of view, liberals and progressives should not forget that the health care bill, despite its manifold faults, will do a lot of good for America.
“Consider just how much good this bill would do, if passed — and how much better it would be than anything that seemed possible just a few years ago,” writes Krugman.
“With all its flaws, the Senate health bill would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, greatly improving the lives of millions. Getting this bill would be much, much better than watching health care reform fail.”
Krugman notes that the bill will, if made law, prohibit discrimination by insurance companies on the basis of medical condition or history.
Americans could no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
The bill will, if made law, furnish substantial financial aid to those who don’t get insurance through their employers, and tax breaks for small employers that do give insurance to their workers.
Other voices on the left are starting to express a similar, if less colorful, view. Salon magazine reports that passing the health care bill is better than doing nothing now.
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