Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced last night that he is ready to bring a health care reform bill to the Senate floor for debate as early as Saturday (November 21). This can only mean that Reid thinks he has the 60 votes needed to block a Republican filibuster against introducing the bill.
While we do not yet know the horse-trading needed to get all 60 members of the Democratic caucus to support the bill, it's probably safe to say that Progressives will be disappointed. There is still talk among some Progressives of withdrawing support for the bill entirely; so far does the bill depart from their vision of what true progressive health reform should be.
While the bill may not contain everything, or even much of what we would like, I believe it deserves our support. As the Happy Warrior, Hubert Humphrey himself said, "If you can't get a whole loaf, take half a loaf."
Just don't give us crumbs. We can always go back later for improvements, for more of the loaf. But if the bill fails, it may take another 15 years before we can go back to the table at all.