Because they try so hard to “keep the stakeholders in the room”—even when they deserve a stake in the heart!
Tom Daschle tells Wonk Room about how the public option—weak tea in the first place—was too much for the industry, so they snuffed it:
I don’t think it was taken off the table completely. It was taken off the table as a result of the understanding that people had with the hospital association, with the insurance (AHIP), and others. I mean I think that part of the whole effort was based on a premise. That premise was, you had to have the stakeholders in the room and at the table. Lessons learned in past efforts is that without the stakeholders’ active support rather than active opposition, it’s almost impossible to get this job done. They wanted to keep those stakeholders in the room and this was the price some thought they had to pay. Now, it’s debatable about whether all of these assertions and promises are accurate, but that was the calculation. I think there is probably a good deal of truth to it. You look at past efforts and the doctors and the hospitals, and the insurance companies all opposed health care reform. This time, in various degrees of enthusiasm, they supported it. And if I had to point out some of the key differences between then and now, it would be the most important examples of the difference.
If the “stakeholders” supported it, that’s all the proof you need that it sucked. But this is the essence of the Democrats: pretend to be “progressive” while serving as stooges for capital. To outside observers, this sometimes seems weak and indecisive, but in fact this is what they’re all about.