Second, the completely legitimate argument that corporate contributions to members of congress, and NOT EXCLUSIVELY REPUBLICANS, are exerting undue influence over the legislation...
My fear is that health reform is increasingly being made to fight a "three front" battle -
It stands to loose the support of the center and the left forthe obvious influence of corporate money over its particulars, such as loopholes for things like doctor-owned-hospitals from regulation - regulation that must be applied fairly if it's to drive down costs.
It stands to lose support from the center-right because of legitimate concerns that the huge "down payment" of tax dollars is a gamble - the plan may or may not control costs in the long run, but we have to pony up the money in advance.
Finally, some of the very same groups responsible for the savings-leaching loopholes are propogating what I like to call the "keep your government hands off my Medicare" argument - that a Public Option amounts to socialism (actually that one lacked "scare value", so they've progressed to) that your tax dollars will fund abortions, that Obama himself is putting seniors out to pasture. Some of the lobbies opposed to health reform have adoped tactics reminiscent of the 2000 Florida recount - bussing fake "protesters" accross the country to disrupt town hall meetings and feed the right wing echo chamber's own "grass roots revolution."
Olbermann's Special Comment illustrates perfectly what's wrong with this picture - in the first three minutes of listing Republicans on the payroll of big insurance and big Pharma, he fails to mention that the foremost Democratic senator in the health reform effort, Max Baucus, has himself accepted sums that compare favorably to any of his Republican counterparts.
So you've got the far right screaming Socialism, the left legitimately worried about another corporate giveaway, and everyone save the loonies accutely aware we're ponying up tons of cash for this - no matter where it's going.
Obama's argument - the "what if I told you we had a plan that was guaranteed to double costs...etc...that's exactly what we have now" is still a good one. It is my belief that the House legislation is still a vast improvement over the current Gilded-Age style "system". But anyone seeking to pass meaningful reform would do well to be transparent about the influence of corporate lobbyists on the legislation and to repudiate the kinds of back-room "compromises" that will end up costing us all in the long run - them credibility, us tax dollars.