Public Option News

There were rumors flying around last week that the White House was pushing back against the proposed state “opt out” provision in the public option, advocating for a trigger instead. Now the White House is trying to knock down those rumors and says it backs whatever Harry Reid is doing.

I suspect the Booman is right — the White House was holding back on endorsing a particular approach because it didn’t want to get boxed in, but as a result they were taking a beating in the media and making the Senate grumpy. The important point is that the White House is not, it seems, trying to block the opt-out provision.

The bad news is that even if health care reform passes this year, it will be three or four years before most of the benefits, including the public option, kick in. Carrie Brown at the Politico writes that some Dems are pushing for some provisions (althought not the public option) to kick by next year so the Dems have something tangible to show voters in the 2010 election campaigns.

Even so, Paul Krugman is optimistic. Krugmarn found poll numbers that say Massachusetts health care reform is enormously popular in Massachusetts. This is a good sign for national reform, he says. Conservatives want health care to fail and hope for a voter backlash against it, but the Massachusetts experience says that is unlikely.

4 thoughts on “Public Option News

  1. The implementation date of reform has been largely under the radar. I think when people find out the 2013 date, they will demand earlier implementation. I have heard that business is waiting to hire until they know what is going to happen with health care. They are not going to want to wait 4 more years. If they do and unemployment stays near 10%, Obama will be a former president and congress will look ever to red. Need I say, we can’t let that happen. As much as Repubs messed up domestic policy, their foreign policy may take 10 years or more to fix. Dems won’t have that time if domestic isn’t fixed before 2013. 10% unemployment cannot be spun to sound ‘fixed.’

  2. If they’re really waiting to hire until they know (which I seriously doubt btw, do you have any stats to back that up?) … then whenever the bill gets passed into law, they’ll know. No need to wait until the implmentation date.

    You’re right, people may demand earlier implementation, and if they do what they’ll get is piecemeal (however you spell that), stopgap measures that tweak the existing order, nothing that fundamentally changes anything, which means no significant impact on businesses, and no real impact on employment.


    Personally, I’m of the opinion that this entire debate about public option vs opt-out vs trigger vs nothing has basically been one giant diversion. Notice how nobody is talking about any of the REST of the truly giant bill in the making? Everything else is going to be pretty much exactly how Obama wanted it from the beginning, and it’s looking like even this is probably gonna get through, one way or another.


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