The Public Option Is Dead, Dead, Dead

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Health Care, R.I.P., Video

Yesterday, Obama positioned the public option as something that everybody was getting hung up on. Not only that Kent Conrad said he wouldn’t vote for legislation that had it in it and neither would Blue Dog Dems or moderate Repubs.

Well, now HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is continuing the meme that the public option isn’t necessary…and if that’s the case, well, it’s dead folks.

Here she is today, along with a clip of Obama…



If anything passes, and I bet it will, we’re looking at health care co-ops.

Count on it.


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2009 and is filed under Health Care, R.I.P., Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

23 Responses to “The Public Option Is Dead, Dead, Dead”

  1. michael reynolds Says:

    I’ve suspected from the start (and said so) that the public option might be “trade goods.”

    To be clear: I favor a public option.

    But my objective has always been portability, an end to pre-existing conditions, an end to cancellations, a national rather than state market, deductions for the self-employed and some system — vouchers with a mandate perhaps — for getting close to universal coverage. If I get all that I’m willing to trade away a public option.

    Then we get busy fine-tuning it.

    The left will scream, but they’ll shut up and vote yes in the end. We’ll get a couple GOP senators and Obama will have a “bipartisan” health insurance reform that allows you to keep your existing policy, is close to universal and taxes the well-off to pay for it.

    I’m good with 75% of a loaf.

  2. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Mike, you might get an end to pre-existing conditions, but the rest of your list is out of the question as long as democrats are in office. There is nothing revolutionary about what will pass, I doubt co-ops will be included and if they are, they will be very limited and won’t constitute anywhere near the majority of plans issued to Americans going forward.

    All-in-all, there will be more regulations added to health insurance without any radical overhaul of the system. Costs are going up.

    Republicans should jump all over this, carry the momentum into 2010 and 2012, and use the public’s newly found consciousness about heatlh care to get it de-regulated, so that employer-only tax deductions and state licensing are a thing of the past.

    Countdown until the left starts blaming the lying astroturfing mobs paid for by big corporations ruining everything in 5…4…3…

  3. Jim S Says:

    Meaningful Healthcare ReformThe Public Option Is Dead, Dead, Dead

    Fixed your headline, Justin.

  4. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmy:

    I think you’re wrong. In fact I think the GOP got gamed.

    Opposition has crystalized around the public option which, as I said, I always suspected was trade goods. Killing it gives the Maine women and the Blue Dogs a way to claim victory and sign on.

    We still achieve our central goal, giving up ground we can afford to give up. Ground we never really thought we’d take.

    You need to understand one thing about Obama: he doesn’t care what you say, he only cares what he gets, what he achieves.

    As for GOP momentum. That’s a joke right? You really think a bunch of shots of shrieking old white people ranting about death panels is the signpost to the future? What will your platform be? “We kept insurance premiums high and contributed nothing to the reviving economy. And oh, by the way, we’re nuts!”

  5. CH Says:

    “As for GOP momentum. That’s a joke right? You really think a bunch of shots of shrieking old white people ranting about death panels is the signpost to the future?”

    That doesn’t sound racist at all.

    Hint: we’ll continue to gain momentum as long as you characterize concerned Americans as “shrieking old white people”. A little racist and a lot short on facts.. keep trying that tactic and see how it works for you. We’ve already succeeded in getting the public option dropped due largely to the fact that libs met opposition with derision instead of a factual rebuttal. Keep using racist and hateful language instead of facts and maybe we’ll succeed in getting the whole steaming pile of crap that remains off of the table.

  6. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    There are a lot of shrieking old white people in this country and they vote.

  7. Alistair Says:

    Michael:

    I second you comment on the GOP getting gamed, the only thing the Republicans wanted to defeat was the Public Option which they will claim as a victory. This will anger some from the left but for Moderates and Independents this will satified that it won’t be a government control heath care and would ease concern towards President Obama who they started to lose faith on him.

  8. Mike A. Says:

    “There are a lot of shrieking old white people in this country and they vote.”
    Yes and many collect social security, medicare and military pensions. Damn socialists!

  9. Alistair Says:

    Jimmy:

    And their are alot of people young and people color that vote too during the mid-term election.

  10. Tully Says:

    LMAO. “Advance to the rear” and declare victory through superior foresight…GMAFB. Now, if you had openly predicted something like this was coming, maybe you’d have some cred.

    Obama left it to Congressional Democrats to write up a wish-list bill while making tons of vague and vaporous (and unkeepable) fairy-dust promises. At this point Obama will claim “victory” no matter what is passed, just as long as something is passed.

    But make no mistake, this Obacktracking represents a major defeat for the left-lib wing of the Dem party. They swung for the fences and the public rose up in arms against them and their leader in the White House cut them loose to swing in the breeze. (Of course, at the same time he’s just lobbed a lifeline to suffering Blue Dogs. Silver lining, etc.)

    On the bright side, this means that there is now some real chance of actual bipartisan attempts at serious and focused reforms that actually help us rather than just kludge up the system even more.

  11. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    Yeah, a defeat for the left. Not for Obama. Despite your tedious propagandizing, they are not the same.

    But also a defeat for the right: we’ll get most of what we wanted, and you won’t have broken the Obama presidency. Instead you’ll have made yourselves look crazier than ever and get none of the credit for the coming economic turn-around.

    Let’s check in a year and see how it polls.

  12. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmy:

    Good luck with the old white people’s party. I’m sure it’s the coming thing.

  13. Jim S Says:

    On the bright side, this means that there is now some real chance of actual bipartisan attempts at serious and focused reforms that actually help us rather than just kludge up the system even more.

    Sorry, but there is almost no one on the Republican side of the aisle who supports reforms that will actually help, only those that will continue to support the existing system. Any proposals that displease any insurance company with the right kind of influence will be killed or watered down to the point of uselessness. Corporate profits must not be interfered with no matter what. Anything that is passed with real bipartisan support will just be a smokescreen to cover up failure to help fix our non-system.

  14. michael reynolds Says:

    CH:

    I just love when guys like you try to play the race card.

    I’ll repeat it: shrieking old white people. That’s your party.

    As it happens I am ‘old white people.’ But with 80% less shrieking. Unless my kids are around.

  15. Jim S Says:

    That’s odd. The strikeout in my first post was there in the preview.

  16. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Who is playing the race card here?

  17. gerryf Says:

    No public option?

    The GOP will declare a victory for stopping it. the Dems will declare a victory for whatever they get. Obama will declare a victory because something passed.

    But without a public option, the only ones who truly win will be the Insurance Companies.

    And the ones who lose the most?

    Us.

  18. mw Says:

    FWIW – Deep Background Unidentified Sources to Mark Ambinder – Rumors of Public Option Death are Greatly Exaggerated:

    An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “misspoke” when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president’s view, the most important element of the reform package.

    Then Linda Douglass of “send me your fishy e-mails” fame chimes in:

    A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill. “Nothing has changed.,” she said.”

    Then another source…

    A third White House official, via e-mail, said that Sebelius didn’t misspeak. “The media misplayed it,” the third official said.

    So – three White House officials, two unidentified and three different explanations. What does it mean? You got me. But is does at least have the appearance of a world class clusterfork is underway.

  19. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Hint: we’ll continue to gain momentum as long as you characterize concerned Americans as “shrieking old white people”. A little racist and a lot short on facts..

    Call it racist if you insist on doing so, but it is most definitely not short on facts. The demographic reality is that whites are shrinking as a proportion of the population. Another demographic fact is that old people die a lot sooner than young people.

    In 2010 old white folks may be enough. They won’t be in 2012. Low turnout in 2014 may help you. But if you guys don’t manage major breakthroughs in communities of color and young people you’ll be less relevant in 2016 than you were in 1940.

    Tully said,

    Obama left it to Congressional Democrats to write up a wish-list bill while making tons of vague and vaporous (and unkeepable) fairy-dust promises. At this point Obama will claim “victory” no matter what is passed, just as long as something is passed.

    This is Obama’s strategy on almost everything. He uses the Bully Pulpit to point Congress to an issue he wants resolved, then he stands back and lets them work out the details. That’s a lot closer to what the founding fathers intended than the system we’ve had since FDR, where a President proposes a specific bill via sympathetic Congressman.

    As for the public option, I’d say it would be best to take anything anybody says about it now with a grain of salt. Right now they’re home in their district. In many cases being screamed at by old white people. When they get back to Congress the dynamics will change completely.

    They may remain steadfastly against the public option. Senators may vote for cloture and then vote against the bill. One house (probably the House) could pass a bill with a public option while the other does co-ops. That would punt the actual decision to the Conference Committee. IMO that’s actually most likely because politicians really love not having to make controversial decisions.

  20. Chris Says:

    Straight from the horse’s mouth:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/17/potter.health.insurance/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

    ” I explained during the press conference with Rep. Slaughter how the industry funnels millions of its policyholders’ premiums to big public relations firms that provide talking points to conservative talk show hosts, business groups and politicians. I also described how the PR firms set up front groups, again using your premium dollars and mine, to scare people away from reform.

    What I’m trying to do as I write and speak out against the insurance industry I was a part of for nearly two decades is to inform Americans that when they hear isolated stories of long waiting times to see doctors in Canada and allegations that care in other systems is rationed by “government bureaucrats,” someone associated with the insurance industry wrote the original script.”

  21. Is the public option dead? | Minus30 Says:

    [...] Gardner at our favorite moderate blog Donklephant seems to think so. Here’s the YouTube video of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [...]

  22. Unlikely Republican Signals Openness For Health Care Compromise - Justin Gardner - Political Pulse - True/Slant Says:

    [...] I mentioned last month on a couple of occasions, there was really no hope for it anyway and we were headed down a path towards compromise once Dems [...]

  23. Donklephant » Blog Archive » The Healthcare Debate Explained…On Napkins Says:

    […] other news, a government run public option is dead……..again. […]

Leave a Reply


NOTE TO COMMENTERS:


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


Related Posts: