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.