What neither of these writers address is why the left feels that way.
It’s simple: because early on, the fight for health care reform was framed as a proxy fight for progressive political power.
Furthermore, the proxy fight wasn’t over whether we should reform health care or health insurance, in and of itself. For a number of reasons, a number of the leading progressive organizations (like Firedoglake and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, among others) chose to stand their ground on whether there would a public insurance option in the health insurance exchanges.
That, by the way, is why the public option keeps on getting brought back to life, over and over again. And that is why a large number of progressives at the rank-and-file level feel so brutally disappointed about health care reform. In essence, people think that public option = health care reform.
It’s too late to change that premise, I think.