And those calling for "killing the bill" today are speaking to the members of the House, which is why the Senate is working overtime to cut the House out of the deal:
There is a very insidious myth right now that there is a large group of progressive leaders who want to “kill” health care reform in its entirety. While there might be some progressive leaders out there who have advocated for this position, I have yet to hear from them. What I have heard from people like Howard Dean, Markos Moulitsas, Keith Olbermann, Jane Hamsher, etc… is that they simply want to kill the current version of the Senate bill. None of them, to my knowledge, have advocated ending all efforts to pass a health care reform bill.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said Sunday that it’s the Senate bill, or nothing at all, when it comes to health care reform.I would guess that that kind of arrogance has the White House a little bit spooked to the point where they are having the VP make soothing noises:
"It is very clear that the final bill that passed in the United States Senate is going have to be very close to the bill that is being negotiated here," the North Dakota Democrat said on “Fox News Sunday.” "Otherwise you will not get 60 votes in the United States Senate.”
Writing in Sunday’s New York Times opinion page, Vice President Joe Biden said that “I share the frustration of other progressives that the Senate bill does not include a public option,” but suggested nothing is set in stone just yet.
“If the bill passes the Senate this week,” wrote Biden, “there will be more chances to make changes to it before it becomes law. But if the bill dies this week, there is no second chance to vote yes.”
Here's what we got:
"It is a much more pro-choice Senate than it has been in a long time," she added. "And it is much more pro-choice than the House."
Boxer's reading of the political landscape might seem like the hopeful spin of an abortion-rights defender. But it was seconded by a another lawmaker, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
"It would have to be added," sad the Montana Democrat of an amendment that mirrored that offered Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) in the House. "I doubt it could pass."
Speaking days after House Democrats helped pass the Stupak provision -- which would greatly restrict private insurers from covering abortion -- Boxer and Baucus's proclamations are undoubtedly music to the ears of pro-choice activists. President Obama, likewise, stressed during an interview with ABC News Monday night that he would like to see the Stupak amendment changed before a final version of health care legislation is produced.
Does allowing all those "pro-life" state legislatures like South Dakota's to completely opt-out of any requirement to offer coverage for abortion sound like an improvement to you? Do we all relish the inevitable, bloody state-by-state abortion battles?
Abortion opt-out. State legislatures may pass laws prohibiting their newly created health insurance exchanges from offering abortion coverage. In states where abortion coverage is permitted, no federal funds may be used to pay for abortions; instead, they must be paid for by specially segregated funds derived from private health insurance premiums.