Stop Whining, Liberals: Senate Bill Is Fine
Crunch the numbers, and you'll see it's way, way better than nothing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2009 11:26 AM CST
Harry Reid, with Chris Dodd, Debbie Stabenow, and Dick Durbin, speaks to the media about the Democratic health care bill on Capitol Hill, Nov. 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Progressives who oppose the Senate health care bill are “batshit crazy,” writes Nate Silver, because the bill is way, way better than nothing. Crunching the numbers over at FiveThirtyEight.com, Silver estimates that a family of four in the individual market making $54,000 a year could expect to pay $9,000 for health care in 2016 under the Senate bill. That may sound like a lot, but without reform, that’d be $19,576.

“Where do you think the $800 billion goes?” asks Silver. “It goes to low-income families just like these.” Most liberal criticisms of the bill are that it doesn’t control the cost curve. That’s a valid criticism, says Silver, albeit a conservative one. The public option would help with that, but not much, given how watered down it’d become. But even without it, “this bill would be an absolutely monumental achievement.”