19 Mar

Public Option in July?

On March 15th, Ed Shultz of MSNBC had the Times’ David Kirkpatrick on his show – who confirmed that Obama’s backroom deal with the hospital and pharmaceutical industries last July included an agreement to kill the public option.

by Paul Hogarth‚ Huffington Post, Mar. 18‚ 2010

Congress will pass health care reform any day now, and it probably won’t have a public option to hold private insurance accountable. Even though a version passed the House last November, and 51 Senators are on record saying they would vote for it. And while Democrats are at this point “damned if they do” and “damned if they don’t” on passing a very unpopular bill, the public option consistently has strong support. But Majority Whip Dick Durbin said the Senate won’t even vote on a public option unless the House puts it in the final legislation, and a few hours later Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that could not happen. President Obama has been justifiably slammed for not pushing hard enough for a public option, but the truth may be even worse than that. We know the White House cut a deal with hospitals and insurance companies last July on prescription drugs – but as a New York Times reporter said this week, they also killed the public option. And given the public option’s inexplicable fate, I have to believe the story.

On August 13th, David Kirkpatrick reported in the New York Times that contrary to public perception, President Obama was playing a much bigger role in shaping the health care bill. In meetings with Senator Max Baucus and lobbyists from Pharma, the White House was able to get their support for reform – using Baucus’ Finance Committee as a framework for the ultimate legislation.

“Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals,” he wrote, “said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan [my emphasis].” Kirkpatrick went on to quote one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, who said: “We have an agreement with the White House that I’m very confident will be seen all the way through conference.”

I don’t remember that New York Times article, which no traditional media ever picked up on. Like most liberal bloggers, I was in Pittsburgh on August 13th for Netroots Nation. As happens at those four-day conferences, we were too overwhelmed to be reading the news – but White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was there to assure us the President is on our side.

On March 15th, Ed Shultz of MSNBC had the Times’ David Kirkpatrick on his show – who confirmed that Obama’s backroom deal with the hospital and pharmaceutical industries last July included an agreement to kill the public option.

Others have written that Obama knew the public option is popular with his base, so he didn’t want to be the one to kill it. He tried to make Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the fall guy, but Reid wouldn’t budge. Ultimately, the honor went to Joe Lieberman – who progressives despise already, and would proudly take the blame.

In other words, while Obama was still saying in September that he supports the public option (which kept us hopeful) – the President knew all along that it would never make it in the final bill. He never said he’d fight to include the public option, and repeatedly said he was “open” to other ways to achieve the same goal. But little did we know, the fix was in.

When the White House in December pressured Harry Reid to cave to Joe Lieberman’s extortion – which I dubbed the “Day the Democrats Died” – my faith in Barack Obama was irreparably shattered. At this point, it became crystal clear to me this President would not push the change we can believe in – that progressives would have to just do it themselves.

Which is why I’ve felt the work that the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Howard Dean’s Democracy for America has been so important. Democrats claim we “don’t have the votes” for passing a public option, so the netroots had to prove them wrong – by organizing a “whip count” at get 51 Senators on record supporting a public option through reconciliation. It was the only pro-active thing to do.

And these efforts – with no active support from the Democratic Party leadership – helped everyday activists get involved in ameaningful way. But while the whip count was successful, two progressive Senators who have always championed the public option – Tom Harkin and Jay Rockefeller – would not commit to voting for it under reconciliation, when I assumed they’d be low-hanging fruit.

I can only come up with one reason – the President didn’t want the public option, and they wouldn’t stand up to him. And now that we hear that Obama killed the public option in a back-room deal last July, it all makes sense. The netroots effort has now identified the votes in the Senate to pass a public option – but it doesn’t matter. It won’t happen.

Why is the public option such a big deal? Isn’t it true that only about 5% of Americans would even be covered? But the issue was never about how many people would actually use it. Its mere existence would give teeth to all the parts of the bill that deal with private insurance – such as a ban on pre-existing conditions. If these companies (which have proven they can’t be trusted) have to deal with competition, it keeps them honest.

And we always knew the public option itself was not very exciting – most of us wanted single payer, just like in all other Western industrialized nations. But single-payer was never considered – it was dropped from the very start, leaving us with the public option as a compromise. If the Democrats had at least fought for single payer, I could be okay with not having a public option in the final bill. But instead, progressives were duped – and the public option took on a great importance because it was our final concession.

At Daily Kos, a diarist argued yesterday that – assuming all of this is true – we don’t know what Obama’s motivations were in killing the public option. He could have made what was viewed as a pragmatic decision – a “chess move” that turned out to be an abject failure. But it was precisely because they cut a deal behind closed doors that we’ll never know. It’s these kind of backroom deals that disempower progressive activists who deserve transparency.

In late December, I lamented on Beyond Chron that 2009 was the year change fell prey to backroom deals – where the rich and powerful have undue influence. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my theory was so true. That Barack Obama – the community organizer from Chicago, the man who used to live three doors down from me in Hyde Park, the politician who endorsed single payer when he first ran for public office – would go behind closed doors and kill the public option before we proved that we had the votes.

And the fact that none of us would know about it until nine months later is infuriating.

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Tell Speaker Pelosi the public option is in her hands. Sign the petition:

The Problem

The Public Option

From: jacksmith – WorkingClass

Rep. Alan Grayson: HR4789 –

WE THE PEOPLE OF The UNITED STATES – DEMAND!! an up or down vote on a Strong “GOVERNMENT-run” Public Option CHOICE!

Every member of Congress that fails to openly declare a YES vote for a Strong “GOVERNMENT-run” Public Option CHOICE! before reconciliation or any other healthcare vote, will be branded a NO vote against the Public Option. And a NO! vote against the American People and the World.

KNOW THIS!! We will RIP you from Office with such political ANGER! and BRUTALITY! that they will hear the Echoes of your parting screams for a 100 YEARS! You have a CHOICE! and AND SO DO WE. The PUBLIC OPTION!!

The Public Option




Call your representatives and demand an answer. Do you or don’t you support a public option. Do you or don’t support democratic MAJORITY RULE! We DEMAND! to know.

YOU! are dying and suffering needlessly every day

Why we need Government-run universal healthcare ASSURANCE!

My Fellow Americans and People Of The World

A strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option is STILL! CRITICAL!

We have had a long hard struggle to find out what would be the BEST! that this congress and the Whitehouse could do to fix our highly dangerous, poor quality, most costly, and MOST! disgraceful healthcare delivery system in the world. It is clear that congress can do much more for the American people than what is proposed so far.

It is clear that congress can pass a strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one. Expand Medicare and not levy any new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. LET THIS BE YOUR LINE IN THE SAND!

Lastly, there can be NO! INDIVIDUAL MANDATES without a strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Or the American people WILL! and SHOULD! revolt with an all out CIVIL WAR against congress and this Government.

House and Senate progressives and the tri-caucuses should aggressively push for the inclusion of a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. If the obstructionist kill meaningful healthcare reform, it’s failure will be on the obstructionist heads. And they will be punished and replaced.


What is proposed in the Senate compromised bill is the worst case scenario for health-care reform. It would shift trillions of taxpayer, public and private dollars into the hands of the private insurance industry (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America). And it would compel by law millions of Americans to financially support this oxymoronic criminal enterprise. You cant have a individual MANDATE WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

You will have NO! realistic way of controlling cost and quality. Cost will continue soaring through the roof bleeding the American people dry, and KILLing our economy. And our quality of healthcare will continue to decline below our current ranking of “WORST! quality of healthcare delivery in the developed World”.

From the very start, the American people have been crystal clear about what they wanted. And the American people are CORRECT!! They wanted a humane single payer system like the rest of the developed world has (HR676). Or at least a humane strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE!! This is what the American people gave the democrats control of the house, control of the senate, and control of the Whitehouse to do. Including at one time a SUPER MAJORITY in the Senate.

Those of you that can, should prepare now to remove every member of congress that fails to support YOUR healthcare reform with a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. Run against them in teams if you have to. But take them out. And replace them with a strong single payer or PRO PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE candidate.

Now! is the time to bring maximum pressure on your members of congress. Contact your representatives and spread the word.


I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.

The H1N1 virus is the product of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It was released in the U.S. in Texas in early January of last year, but not recognized until around April 2009 in California. The reason I know this is because when it came to America, it came to see me FIRST! How sweet…

This was around the time the MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! assaulted the Whitehouse with all their devils deals to cripple and weaken YOUR! healthcare reform. Especially your right to have a single payer system like HR676 (Medicare For All) which most of you wanted.

They don’t even want you to have your HUGE!!! compromise position of a strong government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. To compete with their DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, MURDEROUS, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRODUCT (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America).

They also wanted to take away your rights to have your government meet it’s responsibility to use it’s full power to regulate, negotiate, and control drug cost, healthcare cost and quality. Something every other civilized country in the developed World has done for it’s people. Their Greed! moral degeneracy and lack of patriotism knows no bounds.

Many of you will remember that before we knew about H1N1. I posted a open message to the President and Congress warning them to be vigilant about their health, and cautious about any medical advice they received. As I said then “they will not hesitate to try and hurt you”.

The U.S. and the World have been under a BIOLOGICAL TERROR ATTACK! for over a year now. It is CRITICAL that We The People Of The United States take away control of our healthcare system from the GREED DRIVEN MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

For our own National security, and the security of the world.

A Strong, government-run, MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one, with the full unfettered power of the federal government to regulate, negotiate, and control cost and quality. Would be the most workable way to deal with this global crisis at this time. Including patent suspensions as needed for national security or the greater good.

As an American I invite the peoples of the World to help us fix our healthcare crisis. And bring pressure on our government to meet it’s responsibility to protect global security by controlling, and removing the corrupting influence of GREED and the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT motivations from healthcare in the U.S. and around the World.

I call on the governments of the World and the global intelligence community to track down these MASS MURDERERS, and bring them to justice. CONNECT THE DOTS! And be vigilant that they don’t slip in another viral strain on you under the cloak of H1N1 sequestration.

Further, the proposed patent protection on biologic’s must be stripped from the US bill. And greatly shorten/restricted, or abolished completely. This is a grave danger to humanity and global security.

We must be strong and insist that healthcare reform be done right for the American people. Or everyone loose’s.

This is all I can say in a message post. I’ll try to find a way to tell you more later.

God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

jacksmith – Working Class

p.s. The so-called nominal H1N1 virus is designed in such a way as to make it more lethal to children and young adults. The medical community must be more vigilant of secondary bacterial infections in the young caused by H1N1. And remember, a viral infection is also a transfer of genetic code to you. Think about it, and be vigilant. 🙁

MADAM SPEAKER, tells it like it is. 🙂

We Want A Strong Government-Run Public Option NOW!!

The Voice Of TRUTH!


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