Sunday, August 16, 2009

White House Drops the Public Option from Health Reform

It appears Angry Independent’s prediction and analysis was correct.

From the New York Times:

Bowing to Republican pressure, President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system. Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.

From the Associated Press:

Officials from both political parties reached across the aisle in an effort to find compromises on proposals they left behind when they returned to their districts for an August recess. Obama had sought the government to run a health insurance organization to help cover the nation's almost 50 million uninsured, but he never made it a deal breaker in a broad set of ideas that has Republicans unified in opposition.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that government alternative to private health insurance is "not the essential element" of the administration's health care overhaul. The White House would be open to co-ops, she said, a sign that Democrats want a compromise so they can declare a victory.

The Washington Post:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signaled on Sunday a willingness from the White House to embrace insurance cooperatives as the main plank of health-care reform rather than pushing for a public option in the final version of legislation being debated in Washington and throughout town halls across America.

Commentary from Firedoglake:

So Obama campaigns for 2 years with the public option as the centerpiece of his health care reform. He's elected by the largest majority in 20 years, and the public gives him 60 Democratic seats in the Senate and 256 Democratic seats in the House. Obama then publicly lobbies for said public option after he takes office. Then Kent Conrad, who represents like 7 people, and a handful of corrupt Blue Dogs say "No way." And Obama caves.

Commentary by Ralph Nader from Commondreams:

Obama is about to make his biggest mistake to date by favoring the bipartisan deal his assistants are working out with Blue Dog Senator Max Baucus and his Republican counterparts on the Senate Finance Committee. This proposal has no public option, no consumer protections or restraints on the mayhem and skyrocketing charges of the so-called health care industry.

It is up to the people of our country to "make him do it" whether this year or next. A mere one million immediate calls to members of Congress by one million assertive citizens will start sobering up these legislators who think they can get away with another sale of our public trust.

The Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121. The full Medicare, single payer bill (backed by nearly ninety legislators) is H.R. 676. The go-to citizen group for your sustained engagement is The rest is up to you, the majority, who want to put the people first.


Liberal Arts Dude said...

This just in -- a report from CBS's Face the Nation that says the White House still supports the public option. Hopefully the real story will emerge later this week and we'll see what really is going on at the White House.

VERB said...

First off, what's up AI? I'm back with a vengeance. OK...

Pish! I read this yesterday morning and I'll be glad when this is all sorted out. AI, your July 29th analysis was on-point. I'm EXTREMELY unhappy with how this seems to be playing out. If the Obama Admin does drop the public option, like I believe they will, it will only underscore My disdain for how spineless most Dems really are. This admin will have only themselves to blame because of how they handled this from the jump. They had an opportunity to come out strong with clear messages but instead they were very vague and operated in a reactive manner versus being proactive. Their TV ads were lame, Barack held a whack press conference and then commented on a local situation he should've stayed out of, politicians allowed the town hall meetings to get out of control, and the media did what they do best -- focus on ridiculousness. Ay-yi-yi. Oh well, enough Monday mornin' quarter-backin', I'm going to listen to some music to calm Me down. Spineless, I tell you...smdh -- Howard Dean would have had the brains and cajones to do this the right way.

rikyrah said...

keep on top of this....we gotta keep this front and center.

hampshire said...

Why you drop the public option..??????? you can't do anything...