Public Option: Out and In

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.

5 thoughts on “Public Option: Out and In

  1. The Congress is back in session and doing the dirty work for the Medical Industrial Complex.mcconnell $3.3M, hatch $2.9M, baucus $2.8M, grassley $2.7M,lieberman $2.6M, burr $2.4M, ensign $2.4M, cornyn $2.2M, kyl $2.1M,conrad $2.1M, cantor $1.8M, boehner $1.7M, coburn $1.2M, j wilson 800K were paid by the Medical Industrial Complex to kill Health Care Reform.(Source:
    Dr. Steffie Woolhandler of a Recent Harvard Study on Annual Deaths of
    America’s Uninsured, says the lack of coverage can be tied to about
    45,000 deaths a year in the United States. The only way to affordably
    cover all Americans is through a Medicare-for-All, Single-Payer System.
    A Single-Payer System would generate $300-$400 billion in
    administrative savings annually, enough to cover all of the uninsured,
    and to plug the gaps in coverage for Americans with only partial
    coverage. Obviously, Medicare-for-all is anathema to the insurance
    industry. What politicians are doing is saving insurance industry
    profits, by sacrificing American lives.12 Million Americans
    were denied health care coverage by the Medical Industrial Complex
    because they had a pre-existing medical condition. 12K Americans are
    denied insurance coverage everyday by a for-profit Insurance
    bureaucrat. (Source: WaPo Article 05′ by Harvard Prof. E. Warren) Medical
    malpractice lawsuits are a hot topic but, are they? Tort Reform is such
    a “Red Herring” and is easily disproved. A 2004 report by the
    Congressional Budget Office said medical malpractice makes up only 2
    percent of U.S. health spending. Even “significant reductions” would do
    little to curb health-care expenses, it concluded. bush(43)
    economic speech writer david frum, at least, is willing to admit the
    idea about selling insurance across state lines is a crock: New
    Jersey health policies cost more in large part because New Jersey
    hospitals and doctors charge more. If I buy a cheaper Kentucky policy
    that reimburses my providers at Kentucky rates, leaving me to pay the
    balance, how much good does that do me? And if the Kentucky policy is
    made to pay New Jersey rates, there vanishes my low Kentucky price.These
    are some of the easily refuted arguments bought and paid for by the
    Medical Industrial Complex to derail any chance of their criminally
    massive profits being reduced.Follow the Money: Call Congress and demand, Single-Payer Health Care for All!(Toll Free # House and Senate)1-866-338-1015 ____— 1-866-220-00441-800-473-6711 ____— 1-866-311-3405Sign Single-Payer Petition: Don’t
    let the Medical Industrial Complex steal your Health Care from you and
    your family by donating huge sums of money to Crooked Politicians in
    order to maintain the Status Quo. Keep up the good fight.SEMPER FI!

  2. I loved Obama’s analogy of Public v. Private Universities. I’d like to take it a step further.
    Here’s what our health care system is right now: A private school system. We, or our employers, pay for our own education.
    There is NO ‘public’ school unless you’re over 65, extremely poor, or in the military. Our taxes pay for that option for those people.
    And so, in our private school system, if you don’t do your homework correctly, dot every “i” and cross every “t,” the teacher doesn’t just hit you across the knuckles with a ruler, or tell you to do it over, she/he expels you from school. Permanently. You have no further options. And if you want an education, you do it yourself, even though you’ve been paying for your private education all along. How? It’s of no concern to anyone outside of you and your family how, or if, you get educated. And if you and your family go broke hiring tutors, well, so be it. You should have dotted that “i” and crossed that “t.” And, say, you had a pre-existing educational condition from another school or teacher, like a problem with apostrophes, you get kicked out also. (Inside joke for regular readers here). 🙂

    How would you like to have your kids educated in that system? A private one. Well, that’s the system we have for our PUBLIC HEALTH, which arguably is just as important as education.
    If we had only a private educational system, we’d be neck deep in ignorant people (unlike now, where it’s only hip-deep). If we continue along without changing our health care system, we’ll be hip-deep in dead people. Or, maybe we’ll start having islands for sick people, like the former leper colonies. We could have one for cancer. Another for flu. And others for every ailment. Let’s explain that option to the rest of the civilized world…

  3. For those who claim that a public option amounts to “socialism”, I would ask the following questions: Do you consider Australia to be a “socialist” country? If they say “no”, you can then reply “Well, Australia has national health insurance”. Then ask, “Do you consider Japan to be a “socialist” country?”. Again, if the answer is no, point out that Japan has national health insurance. Somehow, we need to educate the public at large that national health insurance and socialism are not synonymous.

  4. The cynical nature of the entire anti-Obama campaign has revealed itself as a “rising up of the common man” as faked and financed by the moneyed interests.

    “There is nothing so uncommon as common sense” was said (I think) by Thomas Paine. If there were any chance of the teabagger militia (and they ARE that in their own minds) actually thinking about who they are demonstrating for and why they are only now being called upon to demonstrate their “feelings”, then the shock of sudden realization would shatter the movement.

    But the true genius of this manufactured sincere concern about the country is its concealment of a racist agenda beneath a disreputably tardy concern over the entirety of government. This globalization of concern means nothing can be defended, because the attack just slides a fraction sideways onto a rejection of any proffered response or defense or rebuttal. T

    he pretense that it all just finally reached the point of being unbearable is a flimsy con. The Reagan and W administrations have been nothing but brazen users of their “base”. Yet there was no objection to the white patriarchy’s abandonment of its campaign platitudes in either presidency. The corporate line was presented as having been the political mainstream thought of the lower middle class all along. Now that a black man is in office, though, the cumulative effects of neoconservatism have at last become reprehensible!

    Sorry, I have to stop now or I will have palpitations!

  5. It continues to amaze me that the Blue Dogs are generally portrayed in the media as heroes. I suppose Obama shares some blame in that, for refusing to acknowledge that it’s impossible to be bipartisan in the current climate. But if the MSM had investigative reporters worth even a teaspoon of salt, it would be reporting, over and over, on the amounts of money the Blue Dogs receive from health insurers and Big Pharma. As it is, that information is restricted to blogs.

    Also… Sam Simple, you ask reasonable, rhetorical questions about Japan and Australia. Sadly, most people I know think Japan, at least, is a socialist country. They know nothing about its politics or commerce, other than the images they often see of Japanese workers all exercising or singing company songs in unison. To the average American know-nothing, that thar’s socialism. As for Australia, they couldn’t find it on a globe, let alone discuss its politics. If it has universal health care, again… must be socialist.

    At my dental checkup last month, I was told I’ve been grinding my teeth a lot. I wonder why.

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