"How could they"? MoveOn demands, exhorting their members to pressure fence-sitting senators to “unravel this deal.” Health Care for America Now and FireDogLake are similarly incensed. Even Democracy forCould they bother to pretend that they actually care about the goal of this legislation: you know, getting more people health insurance?
, Dean’s former campaign group, is holding the line. “The continued talk of finding a ‘compromise’ in the Senate which would eliminate the public option in the health care bill is a negotiation with defeat,” their latest mailing blares. America
There is, at this point, no real reason to treat the public option this way. Expanding Medicare does as much to move us toward single-payer as a public option would (which is to say, not much). How is an opt-out public option that negotiates its own rates better than a non opt-out nonprofit private option that does the same? It isn't, so far as I can tell.
Of course, if your goal is to avoid "defeat" in the sense of losing a tactical argument and/or making yourself look weaker, then it makes sense to go through with this. But this sort of stuff should be called out for what it is: nonsense.