I may be ignorant, incompetent, negligent, and have an embarrassing blog (see commenter below), but none of those things can be said about Ezra Klein, who explains the cost controls that *are* in the Senate bill but nobody really talks about (one of which Howard Dean has been inaccurately saying isn't even there). I only hesitate to champion anything in the bill, since every time it looks like liberals can get behind some part of it, Lieberman makes us take it out. (I only wish I thought this was part of Dean's current jujitsu.)
And while I'm at it, will let Ezra explain why reconciliation is not an option right now.
Hopefully he won't mind me copying and pasting his whole answer to a reader questioning his take on reconciliation. You should read the entire discussion:
I think there's no chance of it. First, the bill would likely lose the insurance regulations, much of the delivery system reforms, the exchanges, possibly the mandate, and more. In return, you'd get ... what? A weak public option? Medicare buy-in? You're talking about bulldozing the infrastructure of the bill so we can put back in some of the interior furniture.
But putting that aside, the politics of it are baffling. You go back to the drawing board. You're closer to the election. You seem like you've suffered a massive defeat. Poll numbers continue to drop. There's more industry opposition. Vulnerable Democrats want to move to jobs. There's huge controversy over whether reconciliation is legitimate. The final bill will have parts that we can't predict stripped from the legislation.
And aside from all that, if you think we can get these pieces in reconciliation, why not pass the bill and then go back and get these pieces in reconciliation? If reconciliation is a good strategy, it's a good "and" strategy, not a good "or" strategy.