If it's going to help people, they should fight like hell to get as much as they can, but also to pass it. I say this not because I don't believe more substantial reforms couldn't be initiated later, but because I believe this is the one and only year Obama is going to seem the least bit liberal. It will be liberals who will come to fret the government, if government -- even its social services -- comes to seem more muscle than nurture. Making a nation fit for war is not something we liberals have in mind, but it is something ill-liberals could come to see some sense in.
Liberals probably would be wise to at least begin talking succession. New style -- with finesse, with the least amount of antagonism, of course. There are just so many people in the US who want public healthcare -- a good society; more than enough, that is, to populate a country. When you come to realize that your dreams can no longer be realized, and that you are at risk, you owe to yourself to set off. I mean this truly. Start thinking about it. Return when you have the strength to convert.
Obama's strained year as a liberal
Obama is weak right now only because he is still in his liberal incarnation. Once healthcare is passed and true progressives scream in dismay and alarm -- out of some presumed possession --and Obamarahm starts turning on them, we will see a new incarnation, that may well enable him to expand healthcare in the future.
What we get in healthcare reform in this climate may still to some extent be imagined as a liberal gain. I don't know if this will effect its implementation/execution, but it might. If further healthcare reform is moved by a more rightist concern for the health of the "volk" -- the traditional American, of the like Michael Moore upraises --progressives would be right to experience some difficulty in praising it, for it could be part of a national conversation about purity and illness that will end up doing them and those they spend so much effort trying to help, more harm than good.