And even very smart people will reflexively repeat your myth:
Whether this federal health care legislation or MassCare is good public policy is a different question. Obviously, I think they aren’t because they are unsustainable and unaffordable, but that isn’t my point here.Let's see... The U.S. has the highest healthcare expenditures per capita in the world, and it has healthcare inflation at least as high as any other nation in the world. Including any number of nations that have ensured that 100% of their citizens and legal immigrants have comprehensive medical insurance. For all of that money we don't get the best outcomes. And the reason we can't pursue any of the proven, popular, less costly alternatives, despite our comparably massive national wealth, is that reform is "unaffordable"?
At the same time, I agree with Larison's point - the "unpopularity" of the healthcare legislation will fade away once it passes. But it appears the Dems prefer to walk away, or to doom themselves to another year (or half-century) of negotiations. It's better to lose elections, to be seen as weak and ineffective, than to lose special interest money.