Over the past month, the health care debate has increasingly become a debate on the left over the relative merits of the bill. Most everyone has weighed in on this, often multiple times, with substantive critiques of the reform package and reasons for the urgency of its passage. But until now, the debates have had this odd, cloistered quality, with each side talking to their own specific audiences, and at times employing only parts of the arguments from the other side to make their rebuttals, rather than full engagement.

Until now.

In the service of having this full, substantive discussion in public, with equal participation, I have brokered a debate between Firedoglake’s Jon Walker and 538.com’s Nate Silver. Both have been signature advocates for their positions, with Walker leading the charge of those who object to the Senate bill, and Silver representative of those who support it.

Now they can both be heard, with an unmoderated, 45-minute back-and-forth exchange. This will happen, at least as it stands right now, next Monday, January 11.

We’re still working out the technical bugs, but the debate will take place here on Firedoglake, similar to the kind of video chats you would see on Bloggingheads TV. We may even bring this one to you live – more will be announced in the coming days.

Steve Benen has described the debate on the online left as long overdue. Having that debate in real time – with two of the most notable advocates for their respective positions – has also been long overdue. Ultimately, I think everyone will find it illuminating and entertaining.