healthcareYipe! An article on the AP this morning should cause any supporter of a  public plan and those anticipating that Pres. Obama would come out strong for it in his speech to Congress, some pause and concern:

White House: public health care plan is negotiable

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 18 mins ago

WASHINGTON – White House officials said Sunday a government health insurance option is negotiable, signaling a potential compromise on an issue that President Barack Obama‘s liberal supporters consider do-or-die.

As Obama prepares for a Wednesday night speech to Congress in a risky bid to salvage his top domestic priority, political adviser David Axelrod said a public plan is not the core issue in the health care debate. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs danced around a question about whether Obama would veto a bill without the public option. The president “believes the public option is a good tool,” said Axelrod, who joined with Gibbs in a one-two punch on the Sunday talk shows. “It shouldn’t define the whole health care debate, however.”

Gibbs called the government plan a valuable tool. But asked if Obama would reject legislation that didn’t include it, he responded: “We are not going to prejudge where the process will be.” “I doubt we are going to get into heavy veto threats” in the president’s speech, Gibbs added. Gibbs said Obama will refocus the debate on the benefits of overhauling the system: more security and lower costs for the majority of people who have health insurance, and new ways to help self-employed people and small businesses get coverage.

“People will leave that speech knowing where he stands,” said Gibbs. He said Obama is considering offering his own health care legislation, instead of letting Congress sort out all the details.

I am simply bewildered by what appears to be a continuation of putting political calculation ahead of principle. Pres. Obama campaigned passionately about the need for a public plan and now, when that commitment is most needed, he makes it sound like an unnecessary luxury.

I just responded to Nellie with my respect and appreciation for Pres. Obama on many issues which is why that creeping feeling that he is willing to compromise the heart of Health Care reform makes me feel so bad.

He is in the DC bubble, maybe all around him (especially DLCer Rahm Emannuel) are convincing him that signing a weak and relatively ineffective health care reform bill is better than standing on principle and fighting for what’s right (and losing if necessary), that liberals will eventually get over it and Pres. Obama will be able to claim victory on Health Care reform.

Meanwhile, the reality is that premiums, co-pays and prescription prices will continue to soar without a public option. Even saying that a public option is unnecessary is pretty outrageous, co-ops have been proven to be ineffective in general in bringing costs down and if that’s what Pres. Obama is willing to settle for, he will disappoint and discourage a majority of his supporters.

There is one last theory that I used to believe in more than I do at this moment. Perhaps the game is to only appear as if the public option doesn’t matter so the heated rhetoric chills then have the Congress swiftly pass it and he can sign it into law. There is a logic and strategy to that but in light of the compromises on the Stimulus Bill, I just don’t know if that’s quite as likely to be the case.

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KevenSevenQuestiniaKalimatyler-durdenKQµårk 死神 Recent comment authors
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You know what is killing us?

The fact that the reactionaries know that the Dems will take anything they can get.

As long as the Dems can say they have passed a reform package, they will vote for it.

The Dems would vote for a Blue Dog if it could be passed off as reform.

KQµårk 死神

I think you are right on this one K7. The “Blue Cross” Dems and conservative Dems will benefit from any bill in their districts and states at the detriment to everyone else.

The new Baucus bill is a fucking double whammy. It not only does not have the public option it drastically reduces subsidies. Those are the two things to keep you eyes on and he made both worse. Instead of current bills where 10% of someone’s income would be the most families would pay up to $88,000/year family income. The Bauchus gang of six bill will be up to 13% of income. That’s over $11,000 a year for a family making $88,000. The reason is two-fold to drop the price tag with some cosmetics but mostly to pay for a higher priced system with no public plan.

I should say that being said we will never end up with the Baucus bill. Too many House Dems will never vote for it. It just draws my ire that he’s negotiating backward.


Icky-poo. Too many numbers and statiscles on this thread!

But, this may embolden the insurance companies to hike up our skirts a bit more for the final gotcha.


Not knowing accurately enough about all the ins and out of the proposed HCR, I still think that it is imperative that the President should not buckle to any pressure regarding the public option, I thought that it was one of the most important parts of the reforms, the freedom of choice.

Personally I would love to take the “Blue Dog Dems” to a secluded corner and whack them across their thick heads, they should be ashamed of themselves.


1. it appears the repubs are pushing for a “triggered” plan. if rates don’t come down, a public option will be executed. THIS IS BOGUS. leaving the ins. co’s to control their own costs simply means they will be testing how much they can get away with before the hammer drops.

2. the public option MUST be included at this stage of reform. the fact that we are not simply expanding medicare enrollment to ALL CITIZENS right now is already enough of a concession to insurance co’s. no one HAS to choose a p.o., but those who are sick of their insurance currently SHOULD be offered a way out.

3. we obviously must wait until something final is actually offered. but obama’s lack of transparency is overwhelming. we don’t know anything about what is being decided for us. fear based speculation is in excess.

our representative govt should be what balances the power between the people of this nation and the corporatocracy which is attempting to take over our govt. right now. they have infiltrated and we must push them back out. if the public option is not included, i will then know that obama will NEVER stand firmly on the side of the people of this nation.

KQµårk 死神

Vetoing a universal healthcare bill was never an option. Even if it’s not really healthcare reform but health insurance reform it’s still something desperately needed. Sure it will not be the bill the president wants but it will be the bill congress can pass. That being said I think in the speech he’s going to insist Congress send him a bill with a public plan but not commit to vetoing a bill without it.

The fact is universal healthcare of any kind saves money. It does not save as much money as a public option but it gets you half the way their based on the following study.

How universal healthcare lowers costs.

With no universal healthcare costs will rise 6.5%
With only private universal healthcare costs will rise 5.8%
With universal healthcare with public option costs will rise 5.6%
With universal healthcare with public option and Medicare limits costs will rise 5.2%

If you don’t think 1.3% is much it’s about $2 trillion dollars over 10 years.

I will be very disappointed if a bill passes without a public option no doubt. But I will still look at the entirety of the bill to see what is does do for the unisued like moi.


profit must be taken out of the equation in paying for health care. THAT MONEY must go to offset the expense. NO ONE SHOULD BE MAKING PROFITS FROM DENYING HEALTH CARE SERVICES.

the CEO pay and bonuses, the shareholder dividends, etc. ALL WILL BE REDIRECTED BACK TO THE SYSTEM.

pay the doctors and hospital staff appropriately, pay the administration appropriately; provide a state of the art infrastructure, and then monitor it for maximum efficiency.


I’m willing to wait to hear what the president says. We’ve heard report after report about the public option, and none of it has turned out to be reliable.