But John is wrong when he says the upshot of the political situation on health care reform is:
If congresspeople think that regardless of the success of the healthcare bill, they will be better off having voted against it, then they will.
Given a good health care bill with a strong public option, they can:
- Vote for it, and be better off with their constituents, but worse off with their donors/future employers.
- Vote against it, and be better off with their donors/future employers, but worse off with their constituents.
This is independent of whether or not the bill passes.
Hence their focus is entirely on preventing a good bill with a strong public option from getting to the floor for a vote. They can vote for a bad bill their donors support, and claim to be for reform when they run for re-election.
If Pelosi or Reid are seriously committed to effective health care reform, they will make sure a good bill with a strong public option is what hits the floors. There will be enough Blue Dogs, and Class '10 Senators not willing to risk their seats to kowtow to the lobbies. They'll do all they can to gut the bill behind the scenes. But if presented with a good bill, the majority will vote for it.