BREAKING: Obama will support the public option if Reid will

by: AdamGreen

Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 22:22


From Rachel Maddow's interview tonight with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

Maddow: "The private insurance company writ large hasn't done a great job. That's why we want a public option to compete with them. These 18 Democratic senators want to bring that back into the fold. If that happened, would the administration fight for it?"

Sebelius: "Well, I think if it's...Certainly. If it's part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely." 

Wow. That's news.

What will Reid do? If it's up to Nevada voters, the answer's obvious. From reporter Jon Ralson in today's Las Vegas Sun:

Nevadans overwhelmingly against previous health care reform package, but support reconciliation, public option

Those are the results of a poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been pushing for a public option and its pollster, Research 2000, previously has done work in Nevada to pressure Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Research 2000 also polls in the state for the Reno Gazette-Journal. The poll.

Highlights from the Nevada poll (commissioned by PCCC/DFA/Credo):

  • 34% support for current Senate bill (32% of Independents)
  • 58% support for public option (61% of Independents)
  • 55% support "reconciliation" on health care (64% of Independents)

In related news, at WhipCongress.com we've gone from 0 to 4 to 18 senators in two days on Sen. Michael Bennet's letter -- calling on Harry Reid to pass the public option through reconciliation.

Voters are watching. Democratic senators are watching. President Obama is watching. Will Leader Reid lead?

AdamGreen :: BREAKING: Obama will support the public option if Reid will

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Who would have thought (4.00 / 7)
That Bennet of all people is the catalyst for pushing this forward.

Yes, it's amazing a freshman nonetheless... (4.00 / 3)

his initiative and a lot of hard work from the hinterland produces more progress on HCR in 2 days than the congressional leadership has in 3 months.

Pretty impressive  -- good work Chris and co.


[ Parent ]
Kudos for another freshman - Udall of N.M. (4.00 / 2)
Went public a while back with plans to change the rules when the new Senate reconvenes.

As for Obama I'm disgusted by his refusing to lead on the PO himself, instead taking the centrist/cowardly route of passing the buck off to another guy who's proven he can't lead either.

 

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
This seems like the hot potato they played in the fall (4.00 / 6)
BUT, going from dead to hot potato is definitely a step up. I am a very cynical person about politics. I have to say that those of you who have had faith are proving me wrong at the moment.  

:) (4.00 / 4)
It wasn't faith. Thousands of folks are campaigning like hell for this...did you have a chance to check out WhipCongress.com yet?

[ Parent ]
More than four. Wow. (0.00 / 0)
This is my favorite comment of 2010. It is perfect. Bite, insight, hope, grit and facts. It describes action, it calls for action, its short, it takes no guff, its on issue, it doesn't "imply" anything not known.

Oh and its short.

Another thing I like is its lack of cynical infectiousness.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
... (4.00 / 1)
What are you implying?  J/k.

[ Parent ]
lol (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Pssst. Read Chris' post in hotlinks. no way! n.t (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
I was once a broken and cynical heathen like you.. ;{ (4.00 / 1)
But then I learned from honest pros like those here at Open Left and guys like Governor Howard Dean that while we all have good cause to be cynical about politics, the one thing we should never change is our our faith in good people willing working their hearts out to do right by all of their fellow 'Mericans - in spite of all the sh** thrown in their faces by their fellow 'Mericans.  

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.

[ Parent ]
Nothing like forceful leadership (4.00 / 5)
I wish we could find some.

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

Wow, such a wholehearted endoresement! (4.00 / 6)
Isn't that great leadership!?  IF Harry will support it, then maybe I can too, at least until Joe or Ben tell me they don't want it anymore!

I'm not impressed until I see some real top down leadership, and I'm not holding my breath on any of this until I see how they handle the meeting with the Reps later this month.

Good for the Senators re-starting this, but for gosh sakes, at one point there were at least 52-55 of them in favor of having a PO in HCR.


I don't think I'd waste too much time looking for leadership at the White House (4.00 / 7)
At least not until 2013.  And that's starting to look like leadership we really won't like!

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
I think we can expect some strong language coming from Obama (4.00 / 7)
At the eleventh hour when all the back room deals are done and it doesn't make any difference.  

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
I'll show you mine if you show me yours first. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Two Questions: (4.00 / 5)
1: Can't Obama support it because he thinks it is the best policy for the country?

2: Is this what a leader does?


A response (4.00 / 11)
1) No, because he's not a leader.

2) See answer number 1.  


[ Parent ]
interesting questions (0.00 / 0)
1. yes.
2. yes.  he's deflecting blame so that if it happens it happens through the senate and reid will end up bearing the brunt of it (probably while they come to a compromise without it in the backrooms and on cspan).

but on the other hand, it hasn't been the presidency that's been the problem - it's been the senate.  and not just this year...i would prefer a slightly worse bill and some discipline on the senate than a slightly better bill and leaving the senators to do what they want in the name of senate rules.  they need to be broken, and this is giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

not sure someone thought out all that, but i think that's the likely outcome - better bill or changes to the way that the senate works (probably slight in the short run, but momentum is building...).


[ Parent ]
The senate is a dinosaur and we don't need representation in govt (0.00 / 0)
the way we don't need it in art. Representation is dead. When 40 million Americans can vote for American Idol without cheating being overlooked, the certainly we can vote on important issues without a year of haggling.

They have haggled over health care way way longer than they haggled over war and invasion. These guys have all got to go and the senate be abolished.

Parlimentary rule anyone?


[ Parent ]
well that sounds great (0.00 / 0)
but how are you going to get them to agree to the constitutional convention you're going to need without changing the political culture.  let alone to having a substantive constitutional convention that's willing to discount much of what's in the constitution?

[ Parent ]
I have no idea but (0.00 / 0)
I think we are heading for the type of world where that won't be necessary.

[ Parent ]
Awesome (4.00 / 3)
The Public Option: the policy that cannot be killed!

Great work, everyone pushing the Senate on this.  I've been focusing on getting the House to pass the Senate bill, and have only given some half-hearted pokes at the Senate on reconciliation.  I can't believe (in a "happily surprised" way) that things are moving out way.  Keep it up all!


if you are (4.00 / 3)
waiting for sen reid to make a decision don't hold your breath, the voters made the decision to put the dems in control of our govt isn't it time the dems acted like they actually wanted to lead the political agenda instead of cowering like little cowards in reaction to the blowhard gop and their sophomoric attacks.  

He's up for re-election (4.00 / 4)
That means we have the same leverage as last year.  

[ Parent ]
More (4.00 / 2)
He only has a chance if we come out and work for him...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
exactly (4.00 / 2)
Remember he did put it in before Joe made him take it out. I'm afraid I'm with bruh though on the leadership we'll get from Obama, who has "supported" the public option throughout in public but not in private.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
Don't blame Reid. (4.00 / 3)
Reid did exactly what Obama wanted him to do.  If Obama had been behind reid, Reid could and would have pushed it through - including threatening Lieberman with his committee.   Reid did as directed.  

[ Parent ]
Uh, it was Reid and Obama who keep resurrecting Lieberman.. (4.00 / 1)
Now we're stuck with three zombies looking for the wizard.

What we still don't know is what they'll actually do with a brain once they find it - use it or eat it?
Last time, they sat on it.

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
bold, decisive waffling from our president (4.00 / 14)
No one passes the buck with quite as much grit and courage as Barack Obama.

"And I firmly pledge that if you take the first step, I will cautiously follow behind you, keeping a safe and sensible distance between us!"  


Sibelius went way off message.... (4.00 / 8)
Rahm's got to be pissed!  The hippies are getting excited.

Expect a walkback tomorrow...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


As usual Obama pitifully refuses to take the lead (0.00 / 0)
but at least it's something.

Can you imagine what fugging him is like! (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
I might be reading Sebelius too literally (4.00 / 2)

Sebelius: "Well, I think if it's...Certainly. If it's part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely."

but Senate leadership would be Reid and McConnell

can't get too excited, it may be another trick??


Don't take it as an indication of where the WH is, (4.00 / 7)
treat it like a weapon - or if you prefer a less martial metaphor a tool.  

Press the WH to make good on their promise (regardless of whether they believe they have made a promise) and press the individual Senators to join on with the news of the WH's position.

Let all of them know that we don't worship at the church of the savvy, rather we demand they live up to their word.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
We have to make it clear that the left is kicking ass and taking names. (4.00 / 5)
And that we are prepared to send some of them home in November if they don't start dancing with the girl they brought.  The only leverage the people have left is their vote.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
I'd be glad to hold the WH their word. (4.00 / 1)

The question is which words ? The ones coming from sebelius or the ones coming from Ezra's sources at WH ?

I guess they were against the PO before they were for it.

Ezra Klein: Sharp resistance to public option revival at White House (Chris Bowers)  
Klein:

For all that, I'd still bet against the public option. For one thing, there's sharp resistance to this idea in the White House. The administration has just spent weeks rebranding itself as a bipartisan outpost in a sea of bickering hacks. Resuscitating the most controversial element of the bill and running it through reconciliation looks less like reaching out and more like delivering a hard left cross to the opposition.
Senator Baucus put health reform on its deathbed by delaying the process for 74 days in order to look bi-partisan.  Now, in the midst of the strongest effort to revive health reform since the Massachusetts Senate election, the White House appears to think supporting this revival is a bad idea.  Instead, they would prefer trying the Baucus route again.
 


[ Parent ]
Sibelius is off message... (4.00 / 1)
I guarantee it!  She got caught off guard, and Rahm is giving her hell as we speak, I'm sure!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
Ezra also says Harry will follow his Senators wishes (4.00 / 1)
He routinely defends Harry Reid's role as a leader pushing through what the majority of his Senators want.

The problem is that Reid and many of the Senators aren't truthful about who wants what.  Nor is the White House.

They're too cowardly to lead?  Fine. Let em play behind closed doors some more, while the streets fill with angry voters and we make phone calls.

!@#$ 'em.

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
You hold someone to their word (4.00 / 1)
when you hold them to their public statements, not private anonymous statements.

I am not talking about which one is correct - only which one they have a moral duty to uphold and which one we can use to advance our own agenda.  They have made promises - we should pressure them to honor them.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
That is a good strategy but (4.00 / 1)

how can  Senators join the WH if the WH isn't talking
to them?

Mr. Obama has rejected the calls to start over, but aides have said that he is open to adopting Republican ideas.
In recent days, White House officials have consulted with Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, but have not reviewed Mr. Obama's plan with other Democratic lawmakers.
"There has not been a collaborative process," said a Congressional Democrat with decades of health care experience. "We have not been consulted. This is very much a White House proposal."

http://www.democraticundergrou...

the KeystoneCops had better planning and execution than this group.


Considering that the House and Senate have been at an impasse... (0.00 / 0)
...this is a positive development.  In addition, the article pretty much confirms that this is a reconciliation bill

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
pass the buck (4.00 / 2)
once again Obama passes the buck, not wanting to take a stand.

can anyone explain to me in what way we're goign to get a good public option (4.00 / 1)
i know it might be something that can turn into a good public option or that it might be something that's a not-great but not awful public option.  it just seems odd to invest all of one's energy into this one phrase, with no substance to look at underneath it.  

maybe i set my expectations too low and the senate and house democrats and thea dministration will all rally together to ensure that we got a solid national public health insurance plan. :)  i'm not holding my breath, though, because if i'm wrong about that, i wouldn't be covered.


HHS report just out says health insurance profits up 250% in past 10 yrs (4.00 / 1)
That's the Department of Health and Human Services of which Sebelius is the secretary.

Now, is this just a handy cudgel for Obama to use to get his health insurers' protection plan passed? Or does someone in the administration see that the BHIP (Big Health Insurance Parasites) do not add real value and thus we need single payer? Note: Overhead includes, well, profits.)

Appearing on AOL homepage today is this article about the high profits and, whodathunkit, increased costs of overhead for those same BHIPs.

Profits for the 10 largest U.S. insurance companies jumped 250% between 2000 and 2009 while millions of Americans have lost coverage, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The report found that the five biggest insurance companies -- WellPoint (WLP), Cigna (CI), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Humana (HUM) -- saw their profits increase 56% in 2009, a year in which 2.7 million people lost their private coverage.

What's more, the report found that the companies combined earned a total of $12.2 billion last year. And lest we forget, on the executive compensation, CEOs of the top five received $24 million on average in 2008, the report said.

SNIP

The report entitled Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System aims to provide the administration more insight and fighting points. It found that WellPoint's increase in California isn't unique. While providing examples of other "shocking" premium hikes, the report also says that experts predict these increases will continue.

And higher premiums aren't the only problem. The report shows how the amount spent on prescription drugs over the past decade continues to become a smaller piece of the expense pie, while administrative costs -- salaries, administrative expenses and profits -- at insurance companies are becoming a large part. The highly concentrated industry also provided coverage to 2.2 million fewer people in the first three quarter of 2009.

Medicare for All...with a robust private option.  

Everybody in, nobody out. Universal coverage. Community rating.  Conception to grave. No one has to stay in a job for fear of losing coverage; entrpreneurs can actually plan businesses based on business ideas, not costs of health insurance. Damn! What a concept!

We won't know until Monday, per the NYTimes, just what Obama is putting on offer for reconciliation, but it ain't gonna provide comprehensive health CARE to the people.  It will provide mandates to provide money to the parasites how else can the insurance companies maintain their high profits if not by increasing the host bodies to be fed upon?).

Which makes the title of the report all the more painfully ironic.... The insurance system may be "broken," but, by gum, it's going to be kept profitable!

Until it dies of its own weight, and the dying off of many of those not provided comprehensive health CARE.


[ Parent ]
BREAKING: Reid will support the public option if Obama will. (0.00 / 0)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nevada senator Limp Reid told reporters that he would support a public option if U.S. president Barack Obushma does, according to sources close to the White House.

The Senate Surrender Leader's statement of conditional support for a public health insurance option came mere hours after the president said he would support a public option if Reid would.

"I am certainly open to whatever the president is open to," Reid said on Friday.  "But I am unwilling to commit myself to something that may not have the president's support."

White House press secretary Robert Fibs explained Obushma's position.

"The president does not naturally want to step on any toes in the Senate.  He's not about telling Congress how to do its job," he told the Veal Pen.

With more and more Americans dying for lack of access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance every day, and demanding either single-payer or a strong public option, the lack of committal to either reform has many people angry.

"Do any of these people understand that we want them to take a position in favor of health care reform?" asked an upset citizen who asked not to be identified.  "What did we elect Democrats to power for if they're too scared of what the Republicans will say about them if they come out in favor?"

Elsewhere, Americans have expressed outrage at Democrats for succumbing to corporate pressure on health care reform.  In Limp Reid's home state of Nevada, voters want their senator gone if he lets the current Senate bill, which contains a mandate forcing people to buy private insurance with no public option as an alternative, go through without substantial changes.

"THROW THE BUM OUT!" shouted one furious voter from the rooftop of the Bunny Ranch, a Nevada brothel.  "Here [in Nevada] we know what a whore looks like when we see one, and Reid is a whore for big business!"

The police were subsequently called in to arrest the angry voter for disturbing the peace.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, both Democratic leaders and the White House remained locked in their game of political chicken, each seeing who will break first on supporting a public option.



"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time." -- Harry S. Truman

President Obama is watching. Will Leader Reid lead? Isn't one of our (4.00 / 1)
problems evident right here?

I thought we elected presidents to LEAD, not watch....

But, as of Monday per the NYTimes, Obama's plan will be "on the table" and we will know what he is willing to fight for...we hope.

I so regret he compromised with himself from the gitgo and took single payer "off the table." And he's saying he's still open to Repub ideas, so maybe he'll find a way to compromise with them as well. Oh, blessed be the bipartisans!

Alas, I don't see the weak PO as being cabable of providing strong competition to the BHIPs (Big Health Insurance Parasites) and being able to help control costs.

Medicare for All...with a robust private option.

The way to bring fully comprehensive health CARE to everyone. Check out PNHP.org for the benefits and costs.


I'll show you mine if you show me yours first. (0.00 / 0)


A short play (0.00 / 0)
O:Honey do you want to do it tonight?
M:Well, I guess so. Do you?
O:Only if you do honey.
M:Shall I start out on top or you?
O:Gee I donno. Want to flip for it?
And so on and so on as Vonnegut would say.

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