For quite some time now I’ve been what I think of as a public option pragmatist. I support a public option. I support as strong a public option as possible. A national one tied to Medicare rates, ideally. Opt-out is better than opt-in. Trigger is better than nothing but worse than no trigger. All that. But I’ve always thought that talk of trying to get people to vote “no” on health reform unless it includes a strong public option doesn’t really make sense. Doesn’t make sense substantively, that is. I understand the value of the threat as a negotiating tactic. But at the end of the day, to kill a piece of legislation that would give millions of people access to affordable health insurance over an ideological gripe is a bad idea.
This hasn’t always been the most popular stance in the activist netroots, but I’m glad to see that Chris Bowers has come around to this way of thinking and I like to think he has some credibility.