House liberals are on the verge of giving the Republicans exactly what they want: another ignominious, disastrous end to the latest in the nearly century-long, one-chance-per-generation series of so far futile attempts to enact something approaching health insurance for everybody.

Hendrik Hertzberg

House Democrats should pass the Senate version of the health care bill, declare success, and spend the next 10 months hammering Republicans for not supporting a bill that bars insurance companies from declining coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, or setting yearly or lifetime benefit limits, or dropping coverage for people when they get sick or when they lose their job.

Voters are angry not because they disagree with the health care bill, but because unemployment is at 10% and the economy “feels” stagnant. With hindsight, it’s clear Democrats should have spent the last year focused on jobs and the economy. But they’ve come so far and have so much of their credibility at stake that they need to find a way to get it done soon. The bill will become popular. They should pass it and use it to their political advantage, instead of running from every fight like little girls.