Flier and Saturday's Senate debate

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As noted here last week, the Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Harvard Medical School dean Jeffrey S. Flier was going to be important.

Set aside for a moment the procedural vote on Saturday by the US Senate and consider the multiple references to Flier’s piece last week. Sure, the politics of a president’s approval rating going south of 50% matters, but having the dean of HMS pull the federal reform effort limb from limb did not help.

Flier gave the federal reform effort merits a “failing grade.” Reasons? The bills being considered included “no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care.” He went so far as to say the effort did not qualify as “reform.”

Maybe I am naive, but I think that if the debate drags on long enough, the political calculus is going to catch up to the intellectual debate. The most important political question then is: Will opponents of the federal bills be able to push the final beyond December 31?