Paul Starr lays down the party line:
Deal or Die on Health Caret: [T]he central provisions of the legislation... would extend health coverage to an estimated 33 million of the uninsured, raise standards of protection for millions... eliminate some of the most hated abuses of the insurance industry... create a new system of insurance exchanges that would enable people who buy policies individually or through small groups to get new choices and better prices for coverage.
Yet these provisions... are poorly understood by the public, including many of those who would benefit from the changes.... because the supporters of reform have been fixated on one goal -- saving the public option.... Strategists will argue about whether it ever made sense to include a public option in the bill, given the low probability it had of being enacted in a strong enough form to be significant and sustainable. If it turns out to have been useful, it was precisely because it could be dropped in the end and serve as evidence that moderate Democrats had won concessions....
[I]f Democrats succeed in getting a bill through Congress in the next several weeks, they can return to some of the issues in the reconciliation process next year. And at that point they won't necessarily need to have Lieberman on board.
If progressives in Congress can see that far ahead, they'll see their way to vote for a compromise.