It has been reasonable to assume all along that the Democratic left would fall in line and vote for any final version of the Baucus bill before the Senate. But there are sounds of mutiny on the left. Perhaps the most astonishing critic to emerge in these later days of the debate is frequent White House visitor Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, a staunch supporter of the president.
The liberal critics may be lambasting Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, but if it were a really good bill, they’d have picked up a few Republicans and be in good shape. But the sound of the fury is deafening:
Liberal blogs such as Daily Kos are blasting the Senate bill, especially since it dropped a government-run “public option” and killed a plan to expand Medicare. Liberal House members are venting their fury at senators who are lukewarm on the revamp, especially Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman and Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson. Labor unions are protesting proposed taxes on high-value insurance policies.
“It’s time for a couple of obstructionist senators to get out of the way, to not put their personal and political interests ahead of…the interests of millions of people who don’t have health care right now,” said Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, part of a union backlash against the bill that burst into view Thursday.