Sullivan goes on to argue that Obama will end up with a victory on health care restructuring, although many of the controversial aspects will be dropped:
Nonetheless, I remain convinced Obama will win this fight. Not totally; not without political cost; but win it he shall. And the strategy is really very simple. The most popular elements of the bill will be kept in and the most contentious left out.
The fundamental issue of costs will be deferred. A bill that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illnesses; that creates healthcare exchanges, where people can buy their own insurance policy subsidised by the government; that brings agreed price reductions by the drug companies in return for all these new, previously uninsured clients: this will pass and be popular. How could it not? The option of a government-run insurance plan to compete with private ones will be either dispensed with or held in reserve. If, after a few years, health costs keep soaring and the private companies have not mended their free-spending ways, it could be brought back.
Well, yeah, if Obama drops the public plan and mandates he can get some measure of health insurance reform because most people want health insurance reforms without junking the whole system. New national and regional markets for insurance helping create the conditions for individual insurance empowerment. That is a plan that can pass.
It’s called the Republican plan, and it is as available now to Obama as it was six months ago. All Obama has to do is just say yes.