Nate Silver has been raging on the kill-billers this week. While I'm not as fired up as Nate, I absolutely agree with this point:
One of the reasons I consider myself to be a progressive/liberal/whatever is because, more often than not, I've found progressives to be on the "right" side of the argument. They're more empirical, more "scientific", less dogmatic, less sophistic, less demagogic, less anti-intellectual -- not always by any means but at least some majority of the time. After tangling with the kill-billers, however, I'm beginning to have my doubts.
And the reason I agree mainly comes down to the inability of the Kill the Bill progressives to present the Senate bill figures and percentages within the context of the status quo. And I think it's very misleading to ignore the horror stories of the status quo when presenting horror stories from the bill.
I made this point on Twitter yesterday, but it bears repeating. 3x higher costs for senior citizens sounds insane and criminal -- until you present it in the context of the status quo. Without the Senate bill, seniors would be paying 11x more. Additionally, a family of four earning $60,000 will pay around 20 percent of their income to premiums and out of pocket expenses. Insane! Until you put in context of the status quo -- 41 percent of their annual income would go to health insurance without reform.
I just hope, like we did after the Clinton vs. Obama primaries, we can all regroup. Although, it's very likely that some of the progressive anger at the president is an aftershock of the divisive primaries. Nevertheless, we're closer than we ever imagined to having a progressive president, and yet we can't seem to hold him accountable without self-destructing and allowing a giant opening for the Republicans to drive a wedge between us. Lieberman's already doing it, as is the teabagger David McKalip. I suspect the Republicans will be exploiting the progressive divisions any second now.
Adding... By the way, Nate also attempts to debunk the health insurance stock market thing. The only thing I can add to this is that the focus on the market seems awfully similar to the Fox News practice of showing the DJIA ticker whenever the president speaks.