ALL THAT STANDS IN THE WAY…. Paul Krugman notes the various ways in which other industrialized countries provide health care coverage for their citizens — the United States is the only one that doesn’t — and highlights the three main obstacles standing in the way of our reform efforts.

At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

True. I’d add just one more: conservative Democrats.

To be sure, this fourth hurdle is intertwined with Krugman’s three. Greedy insurers who profit off the status quo contribute heavily to conservative Democrats’ campaigns. The right-wing propaganda machine is effective in conservative Democrats’ districts/states. And gullible voters in these “red” areas believe the nonsense and pressure conservative Democrats to avoid progressive policy goals, whether it would benefit them or not.

But the group is nevertheless an obstacle that’s proven nearly impossible to overcome. Given the Democratic majorities in both chambers, conservative Democrats are frequently the sole reason the progressive agenda hasn’t moved forward.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.