Washington Babylon — December 14, 2009, 10:21 am

Health Care Reform: It works after smoking a bong

If you missed this last week, here’s Robert Reich’s take:

The public option is dead, killed by a handful of senators from small states who are mostly bought off by Big Insurance and Big Pharma or intimidated by these industries’ deep pockets and power to run political ads against them. Some might say it’s no great loss at this point because the Senate bill Harry Reid came up with contained a public option available only to 4 million people, which would have been far too small to exert any competitive pressure on private insurers anyway.

To provide political cover to senators who want to tell their constituents that the intent behind a robust public option lives on, the emerging Senate bill makes Medicare available to younger folk (age 55), and lets people who aren’t covered by their employers buy in to a system that’s similar to the plan that federal employees now have, where the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management selects from among private insurers.

Of course, now that Senator Joe Lieberman has said he won’t support the current legislation, there may be no bill to vote on anyway.

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More from Ken Silverstein:

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