Politicians and pundits keep declaring the public option dead, yet it refuses to be buried. The most recent resuscitation is explained in The Hill by Mike Soraghan, under the headline “Pelosi backs away from deal with Blue Dogs.” The headline is misleading, but here’s the story:
Nancy Pelosi had wanted a public option modeled on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates. The Blue Dogs were opposed to tying the public option to Medicare. So she approved a deal negotiated by Rep. Henry Waxman to remove the link to Medicare to secure the Blue Dogs’ support.
However, Soraghan says, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who heads the Blue Dogs’ health care task force, now says he won’t support a public option under any circumstances, “essentially withdrawing his support for the deal.”
The headline, however, implies that Pelosi broke the deal, not the Blue Dogs. Reaction from righties (who, as we know, do not read): “Pelosi leaves Blue Dogs to twist in the wind on health care reform.” Another rightie site says Pelosi “double crossed” the Blue Dogs. I guess in Rightie World, “double crossed” means the opposite of what it means in the normal universe.
As dday says, “Ross, secure with his payoff from a pharmacy chain from a couple years back, has nobody to blame but himself.” Also, it’s about time people started to notice who won the last couple of elections. Hint: not conservatives.
Anyway, the result is that the stronger version of the public option has now been restored to the House bill, which is a bit of good news. And an editorial in today’s New York Times reminds us what’s at stake.