An excellent point from Mark Kleiman. In 1993, we had a new president elected on a promise of providing access to high-quality affordable health care to all Americans. In 1994, that promise went down in flames. The result of that failure was not only substantively bad, but politically disastrous for Democrats. Now it’s 2009 and we have a new president elected on a promise of providing access to high-quality affordable health care for all Americans. It’s pretty clear that Republicans remember that dealing a humiliating blow to said president by blocking reform will be politically useful to them.
And it’s curious that many centrist Democrats—particular those now eager to delay action on a bill and give special interests and the right more time to kill it—don’t seem to remember this. I’m pretty young, but even I remember what happened.