The AP reported today that the White House appears ready to drop the public option in their health care plan (they actually have a plan?).
Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama’s administration signaled 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. (read the rest)
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) said that a the public option is dead according to CNN:
A key Senate negotiator said Sunday that President Barack Obama should drop his push for a government-funded public health insurance option because the Senate will never pass it.
Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said it was futile to continue to "chase that rabbit" due to the lack of 60 Senate votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
Glenn Reynolds says that he suspects the chatter going on today is “a Parthian retreat.” Parthians, some of you may know, were rivals to the Roman Empire to the east (modern day Iran). They would feign retreat, and then their archers while riding their horses at full gallop would turn their bodies back to shoot. Not quite retreating, but luring their enemies in.
Like Reynolds, I have a hard time seeing the Obama administration and many Congressional Democrats give this up. Just today, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said that dropping the public option might be a deal breaker. So I’m not quite ready to do a happy dance. On the other hand, he points out that it’s bad news when you have to publically refuse to kill old people.
So let’s be optimistic, yet cautious, and keep the heat on your Representatives and Senators.
Update: Connie Hair at Human Events says “not so fast.”
H.R. 3200, the 1,017-page bill passed out of the three committees of jurisdiction in the House, would create insurance exchanges run by the government through which all health insurance would have to be purchased by the year 2013.
It is vital to understand the role of these co-ops when watch-dogging the White House and Congressional Democrats. They are merely changing terminology yet again in their attempt to cloak their plans for a government takeover of health care. A skunk by any other name is just as stinky.
These “exchanges” aren’t just places to buy insurance. They will have regulatory authority over what you can buy.
Be sure you read the whole thing.