True, [HCR] was politically difficult and most of us ended up accepting the outcome. Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman had to have their egos appeased. But the reason [some] liberals were so wedded to the public option was because it, at least, created an obvious [given a certain level of denial] path and useful alternative [dittoez] to actual humans once the insurance companies started their inevitable gouging and manipulations. Regulating is hard, and the resistance from our monied class will always be huge so it is going to take decades longer to implement and get the results from this plan than if they'd simply expanded the existing national plan to everyone. There was a better way.
Then again, some "liberals" believed in advocating for a plan that could actually be shown to work: Single payer. It's a shame that Digby continues to write single payer advocacy out of the record, especially since single payer advocates were not only right on the policy merits, but right on the politics, too. Just saying.