Note: See update below for the latest.
In a great day for America, the Obama administration has bowed to pressure from voicestrus Americans and “blue dog” Democrats and now appears ready to drop the “public option” from the health insurance nationalization legislation.
Yahoo news reports:
WASHINGTON – Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama’s administration signaled Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.
Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama’s liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.
Officials from both political parties reached across the aisle in an effort to find compromises on proposals they left behind when they returned to their districts for an August recess. Obama had wanted the government to run a health insurance organization to help cover the nation’s almost 50 million uninsured, but didn’t include it as one of his core principles of reform.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that government alternative to private health insurance is “not the essential element” of the administration’s health care overhaul. The White House would be open to co-ops, she said, a sign that Democrats want a compromise so they can declare a victory.
What this really means is that now Americans have to double their efforts and watch out for stealth provisions which will emulate a public option without calling it such.
Either way, this is a great day for America as the administration has heard from the people and will be forced to scale back some of the socialist agenda.
Note that this will not, nor has it come as a good-will gesture but more of a political necessity to help Democrats running for re-election in 2010. Keep the pressure on as this shows the first crack in big government’s socialist armor.
More from Yahoo:
“All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo. “This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.”
It’s hardly the same rhetoric Obama employed during a constant, personal campaign for legislation.
“I am pleased by the progress we’re making on health care reform and still believe, as I’ve said before, that one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest,” Obama said in July.
Lawmakers have discussed the co-op model for months although the Democratic leadership and the White House have said they prefer a government-run option.
Make no mistake about it, the administration will now begin downplaying a public option but it was the crux of their plan and it will hopefully be defeated.
This is a good for liberty, capitalism and hard-working Americans who refuse to pay for more failing government programs and mediocrity.
However, the war against government failure and growth isn’t over and we must keep the pressure on our representatives to govern for America. We must push for true health care reform and solutions which are market-based, not government nationalization forcing everyone onto a public plan. Real solutions will come from common sense, not from big government expansion and higher taxes.
Seems as though the public option will not go quietly since the leftist wing of the Democrat Party refuses to give on this issue.
From Nancy Pelosi:
“As the President stated in March, ‘The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest, because there’s some competition out there.’
“We agree with the President that a public option will keep insurance companies honest and increase competition.
“There is strong support in the House for a public option. In the House, all three of our bills contain a public option as does the bill from the Senate HELP Committee.
“A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage.
“The public option brings real reform to lower costs over the 10 year period of the bill.”
Clearly she isn’t ready to retreat on the issue and she’s even using President Obama’s own words against. He has argued heavily in favor of a single payer socialized system though over the weekend he and his minions seemed to back off that option. Or did they?
As Bloomberg reports, many Democrats are heavily in favor of a socialized system:
Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a health-care overhaul should include a government-run insurance program, reiterating her backing for the plan after an administration official suggested the president may back down.
“There is strong support in the House for a public option,” Pelosi, of California, said in a statement. “A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage.”
Other Democrats called on President Barack Obama to stand by his commitment to create the new government plan to compete with private companies, saying they wouldn’t be able to support any health-reform measure that lacked a public option.
Representative Maxine Waters of California said she was “very troubled to hear that after months of negotiations, supposedly moving toward meaningful health-care reform, the public option may in fact be off the table.”
Republicans and some Democrats oppose the creation of a federal health-care plan, saying it would undercut private insurers and expand the government’s role too much. Lawmakers have fielded questions on the topic from constituents at town- hall meetings throughout the nation during their August recess. The health overhaul measures approved by three House committees and one Senate panel include a government-run health plan.
The best part about this kerfuffle over the weekend is that it has separated the socialists from the boys, so to speak. We now see that many liberal Democrats absolutely support and require a public plan government-run program in the bill in order to support it. This, of course, proves that these Democrats are not interested in solutions, rather they’re interested in expanding government, raising taxes and taking more of your personal liberties.
The question here is whether the backpedaling is authentic or simply political theater designed to soften the hemorrhaging support for Obamacare.