Congress has the idea that health care reform is a political football game with two clear sides, and the public option a dividing line. But what if very few Americans see the debate through this prism?
The private insurance market has failed, and we've given them enough second chances. The American people support a public health insurance option that's available on day one, not a bailout of the insurance industry.
By winning Olympia Snowe over on health care, the White House is risking something far more politically dangerous: an ugly fight within the Democratic Party and further erosion of Obama's standing with his base.
Let's not pretend Democratic health reform doesn't include new taxes -- and mandated fee payments to profitable private companies. If their bill passes in this form they'll pay a heavy political price for it. And they'll deserve it.