Paul Krugman considers health care reform "a disappointing, flawed bill — and that it’s also a progressive triumph."
Krugman is correct at least that we should pass the bill — it's better than nothing, and a smaller-than-expected gain is acceptable in a sense that a smaller-than-expected loss (e.g. the 2006 Iraq war funding debacle) never is. But other than that, it's hardly a progressive "triumph"; it shows merely that progressives are not losing as quickly as they might. It's the fourth quarter, we're down by 14, and we settled for a field goal. Yeah, I won't give up the 3 points, but this is not how to win the game.
The problem isn't that the Democrats tried and failed to get real health care reform, the problem isn't even that they blinked in a tough situation. The problem is that they did not fight. The Democrats didn't get the health care reform they won, they got the health care "reform" the Republican party let them have, "reform" that consolidates the power of the capitalist class to control health care and use it, like profit, rent and interest, to extract surplus value from the population.