Dem Senator: Public option is dead; Update: Sebelius video added

posted at 12:30 pm on August 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If Barack Obama hoped to rescue his vision of a health-care system overhaul with his wan effort in the New York Times, a key member of the Senate Democratic Caucus threw a bucket of cold water on those hopes this morning.  Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) told a television audience that the pursuit of a public option for coverage was a “wasted effort” that would kill any hope of passage in the upper chamber.  Obama, said Conrad, should exercise more humility in approaching a government role in American health care — and even Obama’s key Cabinet member agrees:

“Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the U.S. Senate for the public option, there never have been,” Conrad said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”

“So to continue to chase that rabbit is, I think, a wasted effort,” Conrad said.

His comments followed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s remark that a public option is “not the essential element” to ensure competition in the health insurance market. Sebelius made the remark on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

A public option is included in legislation moving through the House, and is backed by liberals, who would feel betrayed if it is not a part of a final bill. They see a public insurance plan as critical to ensure that private insurance companies offer coverage and lower costs.

Sebelius signaled a big shift in the White House position today.  It looks as though Barack Obama may have realized that the failure to get the bill finished before the summer recess has killed the Trojan horse through which the White House hoped to accomplish the nationalization of health care. It sounds as though Obama wants to alert Democrats at town-hall meetings to stop defending the public option and expect to see it removed from the bills when Congress returns in September.

Conrad’s abandonment of the public option underscores the necessity of the shift.  Conrad comes from a red state with a high degree of populism, which might have been expected to back ObamaCare and the public option.  It hasn’t worked out that way when Democrats went home to visit constituents.  Not only have red-state voters become passionately opposed to government takeover of health care, but independents and even some liberal districts have seen a high degree of anger and fear of losing a system that works for most Americans.  When opponents of ObamaCare get cheers in townhall meetings with Rep. Keith Ellison in one of the most liberal districts in America, MN-05, we know that advocates have something to fear from voter backlash in 2010.

The big question will be whether liberal Democrats will allow anything to pass without a public option.  Three weeks ago, I would have said that Democrats would have passed anything to allow Obama to escape this trap while saving face.  I’m not sure that’s possible any longer.  The biggest threat now would be that both the Senate and the House might pass separate bills without public options, and then have it restored in conference committee.  This is no time to get complacent.

Update: Politico has the video clip of Sebelius gently retreating from the public option:

A White House aide said in an e-mailed statement Sunday afternoon that “nothing has changed” in the administration’s approach.

“The president has always said that what is essential is that health insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health insurance market,” said Linda Douglass, communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform. “He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals.

But taken together, the remarks from Obama, Sebelius and Conrad suggest the White House is preparing supporters for a health care compromise that may well exclude the government option — which could help Obama win enough votes for a sweeping overhaul but touch off a nasty battle inside his own party between liberals and more moderate members who have resisted a bigger government role in health care.

Pass the popcorn, and expect this to get nasty on the Left.


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Let me get this straight: the Obama has a large majority in the House, a fillabuster proof majority in the Senate (plus a few Rinos), and the media – yet they can’t get any of his agenda through. What a (fortunate) complete lack of leadership.

Jed_Eckert on August 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM

What? No major articles on the democrat party imploding? No articles that the blue dogs must move to the Left to expand the democrat tent?

SouthernGent on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

All citizens must familiarize themselves with these bills and come down hard on their representatives and senators. If we don’t demand the changes and deletions you can bet the lazy politicos won’t. Figuratively speaking, you must kick them in the groin and force them to move . . . if you don’t they acquiesce.

rplat on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

This is no time to get complacent. Ed

I have never agreed with you more.

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

This thing will never really die. It will be like Doomsday for you comic book fans. We will have to come back and re-defeat it time after time.

That all assumes that we can kill the bill this time ya know. Hopeychange defeated the Clintons and is a force to still be reckoned with.

Mojave Mark on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

The co-op option is more of the same in a different package. If not explicitly a “public option” it is a foot in the door. It’s akin to “Women’s Health” and abortion, same thing, different name.

The liberal subterfuge works in conservative’s favor, the more the Democrat Party lies, and shuffles their agenda aorund with a different name, the longer we can keep the issue at the forefront. The longer Obamacare is the hot topic, the more independants turn toward the conservative view, and the less support the Democrat Party has. Obamacare is almost as good as libs trying to pass gun control

Rode Werk on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I don’t view this as victory. Victory would be seeing them do nothing, plus remove the federal tentacles that are currently wrapped around healthcare. Any bill that comes out of the current government will be worse than doing nothing.
 
Frankly, I’m surprised I don’t see more conservatives talking about what I consider the two most important arguments against a liberal reform of healthcare. They are:
 
1) The federal government is incapable of running anything well. What makes people thing they’ll suddenly do a great job with healthcare — perhaps the largest thing they’ve ever undertaken — when they’ve completely screwed up everything else they’ve touched. Housing, banking, bankrupt social security and Medicare…
2) The current healthcare mess is due, in large part, to the meddling they’ve already done and the meddling they are incapable of doing (like tort reform).
 
Those on the fence who can be moved will respond to these two arguments. The second may require a bit of explanation, but they know intuitively that the federal government will make all things worse, not better. Liberal lemmings will continue to support their ideology above truth, so why bother trying to convince them.

ClanDerson on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

<blockquoteDon’t get complacent . . . if they’re killing this beast you can bet they have some ulterior motives. “Bait & Switch” is right on target.

rplat on August 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Agreed, the mixed messages coming out today just don’t pass the smell test. Except, of course, that the whole thing stinks.

Keep the pressure on!

bestwins on August 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM

How much does Conrad get in contributions from the insurance companies I wonder. No need to answer.

I guess voting for Conrad is a wasted effort.

Another sellout corpocrat…. this should be used against him in the next election

I think the fact that a member of the Cabinet also indicated enlightenment

Bring on the whores!

He thinks people are grain.

I’m willing to give a co-op a try… Blue Cross Blue Shield started as a coop. My school district uses them.
–Health coops have a track record of failing; not buying the co-op pools are good

I hope you enjoy your retirement Conrad

I’m so sick of these corporate whore DINOs. How did we get stuck with people

The system is the problem

Why we should support HCR even if it doesn’t include a public option

If the GOP will NEVER vote for any reform

We’re 0 for 9

But but but…we have 60 votes, right?

What did Bernie say?

Nothing at Kos yet, but the DUmmies aren’t too happy.

Wethal on August 16, 2009 at 1:12 PM

The co-ops are to be funded with federal “seed money.” Which means they’ll be perpetually funded money pits.

Wethal on August 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Nothing at Kos yet, but the DUmmies aren’t too happy.

Wethal on August 16, 2009 at 1:12 PM

They seem tres disappointed over at HuffPo. Poor babies.

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Slightly OT.
I wonder if the American protests are infectious… Seems the world is not quite ready for a giant thugocracy just yet.

Russian punk rockers rage against the Putin machine

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.3d88f50b0c43ce8c7501f32de76aa596.7c1&show_article=1

katy on August 16, 2009 at 1:16 PM

The co-ops are to be funded with federal “seed money.” Which means they’ll be perpetually funded money pits.

Wethal on August 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Exactly. I am going to call every single Blue Dog Dem next week raising hell about this “co-op” crap.

Norwegian on August 16, 2009 at 1:16 PM

The co-ops are to be funded with federal “seed money.” Which means they’ll be perpetually funded money pits.

Wethal on August 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM

“No Fannie Sick!”

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 1:17 PM

If a co-op was a good idea, the free market would support it. Do they?
If not, drop it like a hot rock.

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM

“A system that works for most Americans”

Why is it in order to help a small group of people, we end up screwing another, larger group of people.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM

You know what this means, don’t you?

Michelle Obama is no longer proud of America.

Crap.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM

During the next week or so, GOP members of Congress and GOP governors (and interested outsiders–Palin, Newt, Romney, Huck [sigh], et. al) should get together via conference call to divide up sections of all the bills currently on the table, and then destroy them.

And as they destroy them, they should present a unified alternative that identifies all the major healthcare problems and draws direct lines between their proposed solutions and the problems. One of Obama’s biggest problems is that many people just don’t see any relationship between the problems he cites and the proposals (whatever they are) he offers.

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Great Song Knucklehead…….very fitting for these times.
Now the “Do as I say not as I do” crowd is essentially done for,yet the war room is bustling with the top brass planning the next strategic blunder. Therefore we keep up the “full court press” and never relent for the truth will always prevail.

justonevictory on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

NO COMPROMISE.

The history of Progressives is a history of incrementalism.

Unlike Conservatives the Progressives/socialists never take their eye off the ball. They may settle for half a loaf today but when they come back for the other half the GOP will again negotiate and then the Socialists will have 3/4. After a few more compromises they will have everything they wanted. We cannot negotiate with these people. We must push them back the other direction with free market solutions.

So NOT let your GOP member of Congress go squishy. Do NOT let them compromise.

We MUST be as aggressive as the Left.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

I think I smell wet leather. It’s the smell of birkenstocks soaked in tears.

erakis on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 1:18 PM

hey SkyFox I answered your post in the other thread.

elduende on August 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Tort Reform or Bust.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

erakis on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

I love the smell of wet leather in the morning.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:22 PM

ABORT OBAMACARE!!!!

That is what Obama does best….

izoneguy on August 16, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Tort Reform or Bust.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Cash Bar – How trial lawyers bankroll the Democratic party

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_16_53/ai_76915714/

Edwards’s career tied to jury award debate

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/09/15/edwardss_career_tied_to_jury_award_debate/

Why John Edwards Is Responsible For More Unnecessary Operations Than “Greedy Doctors”

http://www.allamericanblogger.com/8120/why-john-edwards-is-responsible-for-more-unnecessary-operations-than-greedy-doctors/

izoneguy on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

We MUST be as aggressive as the Left.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

And give them no quarter. The left are terrorists, just like the islamic lunatics they love and work to protect. They cannot be reasoned with nor trusted, as they take any attempt at compromise, or reason, as a sign of weakness and pounce on it.

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Also, we are now up to 50 mil uninsured.

They’ve upped the number because they’re now counting the 3 million new illegals who sneaked across the border last week.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

I braved Meet the Press this morning because Coburn was on. Despite the presense of that twit Daschle (what a douche), Coburn was very good.

That said, I found it hilarious to watch Maddow whine that with majorities in the House and Senate it was clear that America wants a Democratic bill.

Come again, sweetheart (or whatever is politically correct to call him or her)?

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 1:24 PM

We MUST be as aggressive as the Left.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM

We MUST be MORE aggressive than the Left.

izoneguy on August 16, 2009 at 1:24 PM

If a co-op was a good idea, the free market would support it. Do they? If not, drop it like a hot rock.
SKYFOX

Insurance has always been the responsibility of state law. Cooperatives are not allowed by most states. I might work to allow groups of people, independent of employers, to join a group in an insurance pool. It is also a good idea to allow insurance providers to pool these people regardless of state lines.

Too many times laws get in the way of a free market.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:24 PM

They’ve upped the number because they’re now counting the 3 million new illegals who sneaked across the border last week.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Don’t forget the 14,000 a day who are losing their health insurance coverage despite the existence of COBRA.

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 1:25 PM

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Exactly – they are like the Borg. They never, ever stop moving forward and are willing to accept a minor setback in pursuit of their ultimate goal. Unfortunately as Conservatives we can never rest. Hopefully more Americans are waking up to this fact as they see what Obama has attempted in his 6 months in office.

Perhaps he’s done us a favor in moving so fast. Had he moved lower he might have pulled it all off. We’re like the proverbial frog in a pot of slowly heating water. Obama in his foolishness went straight to boil.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM

This is no time to be complacent, we need to drive a stake through this bill, burn it and bury the ashes.

madeuce on August 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Also, we are now up to 50 mil uninsured.

They’ve upped the number because they’re now counting the 3 million new illegals who sneaked across the border last week.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Socialists claims of 47 Million uninsured

47,000,000
-10,000,000 Illegals
_____________________
37,000,000
- 10,000,000 People who can buy insurance – and don’t
______________________
27,000,000
- 10,000,000 People who are eligible for MediCare, MediCade, S-chip, etc
and who don’t sign up
_______________________
17,000,000 – People who don’t have “Health Insurance” -

But it’s a FEDERAL law that if ANYONE shows up in an ER they must be treated.

We have lived for thousands of years without “Health Insurance”…..

ObamaCare is about giving unions 1/6 of the economy –
and growing the power of SOCIALISM from the inside out.

That is what Cap & Trade is about.
That is what Card Check is about.

Turn it around – KILL THE BILL – ABORT OBAMACARE!!!!

2010 – vote all Democratic Socialists out and replace with conservatives.

izoneguy on August 16, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:24 PM

I don’t care what kind of experimentation the states want to try. They have that constitutional right. The Fed does not.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:27 PM

The GOP has a strict policy against negotiating with Terrorists.

Get the Alinskys out of the Oval Office, Mr. President, and maybe we’ll talk.

Until then, smoke this: WE WON. NO COMPROMISE..

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:27 PM

A Four Step Health Care Solution- Answer not more Government.

http://mises.org/story/3643

Dr Evil on August 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I don’t care what kind of experimentation the states want to try. They have that constitutional right. The Fed does not.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Exactly.

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Nows the time for an alternative…

Tort Reform… which Republican LAWYER Congress Critter or Senate Scum will offer this?

Open markets for portability and purchasing across state lines. All out free markets, sold over the internet.

Flex plans for all!

We need an alternative now to get something going else the vacumn will be filled with Public Option lite which will turn into public option….co-ops… public option lite!

Come on lets have the open debate Pinnochio is asking for TORT REFORM a plan AARP, Doctors and Big Pharma would support.
Hey, maybe thats’ the bill Pinnochio has been talking about.. the one he has that only he has seen!

dhunter on August 16, 2009 at 1:31 PM

There are enough blanks in the bill(to be filled in later), that they could just add the public option afterwards.

Keep on flagging!!!

txdoc on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

This is the first time Obama has been thrown under the bus!

I hope not the last, either.

Mutnodjmet on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

“I don’t want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding a God damned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy’s balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!”

General George S. Patton

jukin on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

The establishment of “co-ops” that the White House proposes in place of the public option is another Trojan horse. They say that creating a competitor to private insurance is essential to “reform”. The co-ops would receive federal start-up money then supposedly operate independently of the government. This idea and the premise it is based upon are nonsensical.

The new co-ops will be subject to regulation that will make it impossible to remain financially solvent. They will be forced to write policies that don’t make good business sense.

Is the White House saying that the independent corporations now in the insurance business don’t compete with each other? Are they colluding? If this is indeed the case, then file an anti-trust suit against them.

I say that their plan is to establish these co-ops, then find ways to keep pumping money into them (meanwhile manipulating the market with regulations on both the co-ops and private insurers)until they have destroyed private insurance.

Assegai on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Assegai on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Exactly they must be totally defeated and the GOP cannot compromise on anything. Don’t give an inch unless it is back toward the free market.

DerKrieger on August 16, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Yesterday during President Obama’s Town Hall, he tossed off a comment that 14,000 people lose their health care every day.

OMG, at this rate, not a single American will have health care by the year 2070 so we’re all gonna DIE!

It’s Armageddon dammit. Run for your lives!

Or is President Obama just a lying sack of crap, or perhaps just demonstrating how little a man can learn at an Ivy League school if he puts his mind to it?

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:34 PM

ClanDerson on August 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

This Congress can’t do anything about tort reform…how would their cronies (like John Edwards) line their pockets?

scalleywag on August 16, 2009 at 1:34 PM

BuckeyeSam COBRA?

I checked COBRA back in 2003, for a family of five, it would cost over $600 per month. Anytime an insurance premium exceeds a house payment, that is excessive. Once upon a time the largest purchase anybody could make was a house.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:34 PM

There has been a great awakening of the American people. Much more activism from conservatives will be needed to beat back this onslaught fron the left that has been going on for 60 years.

sonnyspats1 on August 16, 2009 at 1:35 PM

General George S. Patton

jukin on August 16, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Yes SIR!

scalleywag on August 16, 2009 at 1:37 PM

OMG…lol…Obama is toxic! Look at these poll numbers from Virginia AFTER Obama’s visit to help Creigh Deeds. Remember? That event where he said he wanted us to “shut up”!

Likely Voters: McDonnell 54%, Deeds 39%

SouthernGent on August 16, 2009 at 1:37 PM

How about the college student yesterday who is surely a “hero”. Not only did he throw O off of his game (O likened it to an Oxford debate) this student may have exposed one of the largest contradictions in the plan and that is “You can keep your plan and your doctor” well not if the competition doesn’t exsist! My question is who’s zoomin who?

justonevictory on August 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The biggest threat now would be that both the Senate and the House might pass separate bills without public options, and then have it restored in conference committee.

I agree, I do not think they have given up on the public option, not by a long shot.

mbs on August 16, 2009 at 1:40 PM

The biggest threat now would be that both the Senate and the House might pass separate bills without public options, and then have it restored in conference committee.

Bingo.

My money says it’s a ploy to stop the summer bleeding. Then, when Congress resumes this fall on healthcare, SHAZAM! It’s the public option again.

petefrt on August 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM

According to the nut roots – single payer was NEVER on the table to begin with.
Hmmm…where did I get the idea it was? Oh well, I’m just a stupid conservative.

skree on August 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM

This was predictable on their part, but there is still a very dangerous situation facing us. the only real victory will be to defeat all attempts at reform this time. With the public option off the table, there will be an ENORMOUS outreach to the fuzzy Rino-types and blue-dogs to get some kind of crappy bill that they can call a big victory for America. Don’t fall for it, you cannot trust someone who says that the Public option is vital but then caves in and says “well , maybe it isn’t”.

exceller on August 16, 2009 at 1:43 PM

How about the college student yesterday who is surely a “hero”. Not only did he throw O off of his game (O likened it to an Oxford debate) this student may have exposed one of the largest contradictions in the plan and that is “You can keep your plan and your doctor” well not if the competition doesn’t exsist! My question is who’s zoomin who?

justonevictory on August 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

I caught that too. That college kid was more informed than his President, and you could tell it rattled Mr. Obama because he went on auto-pilot, droning on about the suffering he inherited, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Libs parse their words because the truth damns them.

When Obama repeats the practiced reply: “if you like your Doctor, you can keep him” he carefully sidesteps the question that’s actually being asked, which is: what if your plan puts my Doctor out of business?

You can’t keep a doctor who quits.

Fascism is a carefully crafted and well-rehearsed affair.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:43 PM

justonevictory on August 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM

BTW is your tag justonevictory from the Todd Rundgren song?

If so, I salute you. That ought to be the GOP anthem.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:46 PM

I checked COBRA back in 2003, for a family of five, it would cost over $600 per month. Anytime an insurance premium exceeds a house payment, that is excessive. Once upon a time the largest purchase anybody could make was a house.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Fine. Duck into an individual policy. Next question.

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 1:49 PM

One last laugh about the joke of a Town Hall yesterday.

After the show, the state-run media teleprompter reader giddily announced that President Obama had taken nearly a half-dozen questions!

This arrogant, bumbling ass answered five questions. At least two of which were awkwardly interrupted or rendered inarticulate by the questioner’s orgasm.

Thank GOD we’re finally ridding the country of this contagion.

jeff_from_mpls on August 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM

BuckeyeSam COBRA?

I checked COBRA back in 2003, for a family of five, it would cost over $600 per month. Anytime an insurance premium exceeds a house payment, that is excessive. Once upon a time the largest purchase anybody could make was a house.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 1:34 PM

One other thing. I thought Obama’s much-ballyhooed stimulus plan picked up a significant portion of the COBRA premium.

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM

The biggest threat now would be that both the Senate and the House might pass separate bills without public options, and then have it restored in conference committee. This is no time to get complacent.

Agree 100%!

It sounds as though Obama wants to alert Democrats at town-hall meetings to stop defending the public option and expect to see it removed…

In other words,, stop talking about what we want to do. Just lie and tell everyone we won’t do a public option and when we all get back into town we’ll go back to what we want. We just need to get through August, get back to DC and we’ll call our takeover “The Re-Privatization Health Insurance Act” and it’ll all be cool!
This shows many things!
1. The 2010 election matters!
2. ACORN is weaker than we think! They are looking at the landscape and have determined they cannot guarantee enough voter fraud and intimidation to keep the Democrats in power!
3. Obama is not god! Obama is not brilliant! Obama is not even smart! This man won the Presidency with over half the nation wanting him to succeed! He was historical! He had the MSN! He had both Houses of Congress! A majority of Republicans wanted to were ready to work with him! Instead of using all that goodwill to influence, charm and lead,,, he saw it as an opportunity to push, shout and crush! Instead of spending his political capital, he rammed it down our throats!
4. This also shows that we cannot afford to wait for the Republican leadership to do something before we as a people act! If we sat around waiting for the Pubs,, this government scam would have been signed into law by now!!

JellyToast on August 16, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Yes indeed this is from the great balladeer Todd Rundgren. let’s adopt the anthem!<

justonevictory on August 16, 2009 at 1:59 PM

You make a good point.

Even if they take out the “public option” provision from one or both sets of legislation, they’ll just add it again in conference, once some furor dies down.

Or they’ll just add it some time later anyway, a tried and true political tactic.

This whole program needs to go and needs to stay gone.

catmman on August 16, 2009 at 1:59 PM

The co-op option is more of the same in a different package. If not explicitly a “public option” it is a foot in the door. It’s akin to “Women’s Health” and abortion, same thing, different name.

The liberal subterfuge works in conservative’s favor, the more the Democrat Party lies, and shuffles their agenda aorund with a different name, the longer we can keep the issue at the forefront. The longer Obamacare is the hot topic, the more independants turn toward the conservative view, and the less support the Democrat Party has. Obamacare is almost as good as libs trying to pass gun control.

Exactly. The insurance coops are just another backdoor sneaky way of wiping out the private insurers so we can bring about a single payer system. Any legislation with coops has to be stopped. Actually, there’s really nothing useful that I’ve seen so far in this legislation, so putting a stop to the whole thing would be the smart way to go.

eyedoc on August 16, 2009 at 1:59 PM

The co-op option is more of the same in a different package. If not explicitly a “public option” it is a foot in the door. It’s akin to “Women’s Health” and abortion, same thing, different name.

The liberal subterfuge works in conservative’s favor, the more the Democrat Party lies, and shuffles their agenda aorund with a different name, the longer we can keep the issue at the forefront. The longer Obamacare is the hot topic, the more independants turn toward the conservative view, and the less support the Democrat Party has. Obamacare is almost as good as libs trying to pass gun control.

Exactly. The insurance coops are just another backdoor sneaky way of wiping out the private insurers so we can bring about a single payer system. Any legislation with coops has to be stopped. Actually, there’s really nothing useful that I’ve seen so far in this legislation, so putting a stop to the whole thing would be the smart way to go.

eyedoc on August 16, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Fine. Duck into an individual policy. Next question.

Yeah, $700 per month; that’ll work.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 2:01 PM

This is no time to get complacent.

Good advice, Ed, since you’ve mentioned your wife has a Medicare Advantage plan. That’s still a major target, as is Medicare itself. Obama’s Independent Medicare Advisory Panel (IMAC) seeks to freeze any increases in Medicare funding starting in 2014, with such idiocies as “flat-rate” payments for hospitalizations (no itemized payments for meds, etc.).

There’s also the matter of the billions of dollars already appropriated, in the stimulus bill, to the “Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research” and a “Health Information Technology” department, both of which would wrap the tentacles of Federal bureaucracy around health care.

Nichevo on August 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM

A repost…

We must continue the fight accross the nation, even if it means taking time off work. If we allow them to take a inch this year they will take a mile next year.

The socialists have been working hard on this for decades, succeeding inch by inch. The difference now is that they are confident in their position and started the BIG MOVE, the FINIAL MOVE about 2 years ago, they will not allow failure! BEWARE!

allrsn on August 16, 2009 at 2:03 PM

allrsn on August 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM

The only good news out of this is the proof that angry citizens can still put the fear of God into a politician. We’ve gotten Obama to blink, which is half the battle.

Now the real work starts. We have to find out what their Plan B is to get the public option.

MobsterinVA on August 16, 2009 at 2:11 PM

They still want full coverage for illegals. Do not forget that. If you think the number of illegals is a problem now, wait until they are guaranteed health care. The flood of senior illegals will be many millions per year.

michaelo on August 16, 2009 at 2:11 PM

The problem is too much is said about paying for health care for the uninsured by “savings’ in medicare. Medicare was heading for bankruptcy in 2017 without paying for the uninsured; so we need to reduce expenditure just to save it for the seniors it is supposed to serve. The CBO says the presently proposed reforms will only save about 1% of the expenditure on medicare so they cannot possibly pay for all the uninsured and the seniors know it. Raising taxes high enough to pay for all this not only sounds bad in a recession but also would distort the economy. There is an alternative way to get the money needed to support part of the medicare cost that will explode along with baby boomer retirement. MEANS TESTING

We have known for a long time that when the baby boom retires, we will have to means test Medicare or we will overburden the working young with taxes they cannot bear. (Remember that older people on average are more affluent than the youngest taxpayers are.)Right now, the government pays about 60% and the recipient about 40%. For the relatively secure, that will have to go to 80% or so, some would pay 60% some still pay 40, some would pay 20% and some would default to medicaid when they cannot pay at all.

By having the consumers of health care pay what they can, the propensity to overconsume is lessened. In this system, you still get the health care you desire if doctors find it ethical to provide it, but you have to help pay for it.

A program of temporary visas for foreign workers will keep them in the legal health care system their employers already should be paying for. This will reduce the burden of providing free health care via the emergency room when a health crisis strikes. This is money that will not come from seniors; but from employers who will presumably benefit from healthier workers.

The route of reducing cost by rationing or restricting procedures allowed for people over certain ages will just frighten seniors and they will vote against anyone who proposes it until they die. Proposing to raise taxes enough to keep medicare from bankruptcy and cover the uninsured will also drive away voters in droves. Instead, let those who wish to consume health care and can afford to pay for it do so.

Yes, that may be reworking a social contract; but the contract that worked when people lived to 65 and people had 4.5 children can’t work when people live to 78 and only had 2.1 children to pay the bills.

Let’s do tort reform too. Democrats say that tort reform will only save 1% of medicare costs. OK that is as much as the reforms they have put on the table according to the CBO; so why is this 1% not worth it? Put malpractice into a civil claims procedure like workmen’s compensation with defined awards for defined injuries and save the cost of juries and non-economic damages.

KW64 on August 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

KILL THE BILL! Don’t exhale or close your eyes. Don’t stop cheering until our team scores a touchdown. Get government out of the health insurance business, car business, bank business, wall street business. They have vastly exceeded their authority under the constitution.

Kissmygrits on August 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Yeah, $700 per month; that’ll work.

Pelayo on August 16, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Sorry, my personal experience was the individual policy was half the COBRA coverage. For a bridge policy, I find it hard to believe you can’t find something reasonable that provides catastrophic coverage.

You’re beginning to steer me into a discussion that maybe we should be creating a system where patients begin seeing the real cost of things. Personally, I’ve heard good things about the combination of HSAs and high-deductible plans. Another alternative is McCain’s plan which involved removing the anachronistic exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, but providing taxpayers with a generous income-tax credit that largely offsets the potential increase in income tax.

BuckeyeSam on August 16, 2009 at 2:14 PM

I’m with Ed- This is no time to be complacent. The Libs are sneaky as hell and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit for the GOP to get shut out of all new negotiations and for the garbage to be slipped back in at the end. In fact, didn’t Waxman allude to just that, right before the last House bill came out? “Trustworthy” and Dem’s just don’t go together.

anniekc on August 16, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Not to imply we have a better system of governance, but the failure to pass a confidence bill, which essentially a healthcare Act would be, guarantees an immediate dissolution of the government and a general election within weeks. Unless of course the Governor General (acting on behalf of the Queen) decides her ministers are to return to the House and hash it out all over again (very unlikely), or, if in her opinion the loyal opposition is competent and representative of the people, and on the advise of the Prime Minister and the leaders of the opposition parties, has the prerogative to hand over power to said loyal opposition by decree if she believes they can form an effective government and are in agreement to lead Parliament in coalition.

Canada is just sayin…

13blackcats on August 16, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Yup, Ed. I agree–no complacency.

But let’s take ONE moment to say, WOW. Obama approval ratings down nearly 15%. Independents running back to conservatism. Town Halls exposing that many, if not most, Americans still cherish individual liberties and our Constitution.

No complacency. But this is a pretty good August so far.

Grace_is_sufficient on August 16, 2009 at 2:24 PM

CO-OP IS A BAD IDEA

1. It is initially funded by the Government.
2. It will fail.
3. When it fails, it will be “too big/too important” to fail.
4. Government will bail it out and take it over.
5. Next step: Single-payer.

Daggett on August 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

So the ‘public option’ is out of the health care bill? Instead we are going to call them co-operative non-profits?

Does this mean that Obama intends to use the power of the federal government to seize control of the health care industry and give it the Blue Cross/Blue Shield in the same way he gave GM to the auto workers?

Skandia Recluse on August 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

13blackcats on August 16, 2009 at 2:22 PM

I’d pay good money to see these illiterate morons in Congress have to go through “minister’s questions” every week.

elduende on August 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Republicans need to press their advantage. The electorate is finally awake and wants real reform. Voters generally understand that this certainly should include tort reform. Accept no legislation that does not include tort reform. Marry those Dem SOBs to the trial lawyers, in front of everybody.

exdeadhead on August 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Public option dead…?

just after two weeks of a little talkin’ and mobbin’ and makin’ a little nawwwyz? Sup, yo?

I don’t buy it for a minute. They’re simply trying to catch their breath.

Continue GI Joe death grip on throat.

ted c on August 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

It’s absolutely no time to be complacent. I’ve been a credit union member for years and it hasn’t driven the banks out of business.

Still, it’s time to read the fine print.

Drained Brain on August 16, 2009 at 2:28 PM

KILL THE BILL! Don’t exhale or close your eyes. Don’t stop cheering until our team scores a touchdown. Get government out of the health insurance business, car business, bank business, wall street business. They have vastly exceeded their authority under the constitution.

Kissmygrits on August 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM

We shall resupply powder and artillery. We shall bring forward water. We will replace melted barrels and flintlocks. The statists are turning tail just from the sound of our guns.

We have just begun to fight.

ted c on August 16, 2009 at 2:30 PM

“In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube.”
- Ayn Rand

mseries on August 16, 2009 at 2:30 PM

The fallacy of Mandate: Obama (and Obamaniacs) think that because they won the election, “it must be a mandate to deploy all our programs.” No, elections are complex things, you won for a variety of complex reasons (and considering how few vote at all, you had just a small percentage of the populace vote for you anyway). So, no, you never had a mandate for all of your programs.

Thankfully, they couldn’t ram everything down our throats, all at once. Keep the vigilance — they can still sneak it past us if we let down our guard. But when O said that it was important to get health care reform done before the summer break — and then, it wasn’t — it was a good sign that they didn’t have the momentum and support that they thought they had.

It’s going to be an interesting 3-1/2 yrs, considering how the winds are shifting away from Obama, just 6 months into his administration.

bruski1212 on August 16, 2009 at 2:35 PM

We need to keep fighting to stop any of this stuff from passing. Only going back to SCRATCH and redrawing a series of moves that address the key problems, (like pre-existing conditions, allowing consumers to buy across state lines, tort reform and addressing hospital waste) should be acceptable to the GOP and Blue Dogs. We can’t let up. We’ve gone too far to let them sneak their way in. Never give in. Never.

davecatbone on August 16, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Not to imply we have a better system of governance, but the failure to pass a confidence bill, which essentially a healthcare Act would be, guarantees an immediate dissolution of the government and a general election within weeks. Unless of course the Governor General (acting on behalf of the Queen) decides her ministers are to return to the House and hash it out all over again (very unlikely), or, if in her opinion the loyal opposition is competent and representative of the people, and on the advise of the Prime Minister and the leaders of the opposition parties, has the prerogative to hand over power to said loyal opposition by decree if she believes they can form an effective government and are in agreement to lead Parliament in coalition.

Canada is just sayin…

13blackcats on August 16, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Party-oriented parliamentary systems are crap. They have little to no separation of powers (specifically because of what you just mentioned, that the executive branch is not even formed unless there is total control by the same coalition in the legislature) and are oriented towards collectivism at the deepest political level. The US is founded on exactly the opposite. We are an individualistic nation that does not have political parties even appearing as Constitutional entities (the individual is the fundamental political entity in the US system). You people have virtual Executive branches because European systems were built up around an existing, and permanent, Executive branch – the royals. You went through an ad-hoc process of taking many of the powers of that executive and giving them to the legislature, leading to the silly sort of virtual executive that you have, but that is why you have no pearation of powers – which was one of the foundations of our Constitutional structure.

It is only by a confluence of bad events and traitors banding together that we, in the US, have the Executive and the Congress controlled by the same America-hating morons. That is just a risk that must be taken with all of the benefits that our system offers. We don’t need no-confidence votes to toss this Traitor-in-Chief out, as he is ineligible to be there and can be tossed at any moment for that – once we get the guts to do the right thing.

As to no-confidence votes and parliaments, the treasonous and moronic dems in control, now, certainly do think that we have a parliamentary system, as some of the first moves they made after taking Congress in 2006 was to hold a couple of no-confidence votes against Bush, which were truly hysterical, since no-confidence votes by the legislature have exactly zero meaning in our individualistic system with a permanent Executive.

There’s a reason the US has outperformed every other nation and has been the beacon of individual liberty (until the collectivist push we are now seeing) and that is because our nation was founded on individualism, limiting and spearating government power, and setting those limited powers in competition/conflict/partnership with each other to avoid having power accumulated and concentrated and leading to tyranny. That was the whole point of our Constitutional structure and it is light years ahead of any tribalistic, party-oriented, centralized power structure of the Euro-style parliamentary systems.

progressoverpeace on August 16, 2009 at 2:38 PM

KILL THE BILL! Don’t exhale or close your eyes. Don’t stop cheering until our team scores a touchdown. Get government out of the health insurance business, car business, bank business, wall street business. They have vastly exceeded their authority under the constitution.

Kissmygrits on August 16, 2009

Perfect!
Though I would add,, stop the czars!
People need to start challenging the so called authority of these Czars!
What prevents Obama from just appointing a Health Care Czar to do what he may not be able to do through this congress!
Or has he already appointed one???

JellyToast on August 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM

hey SkyFox I answered your post in the other thread.

elduende on August 16, 2009

Didn’t see it. I will go look for it.

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM

What public option????? Oliar said there wasn’t one.

BruceB on August 16, 2009 at 2:40 PM

“Public option is dead”

Yeah right … Washington gasbags have ZERO trust and credibility with the public. The only way we’ll be sure it’s dead is when Palin wins the presidency.

darwin on August 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM

For a guy who’s trying to wring out “inefficiencies in the system” it sure looks like he’s wasting a whole lot of political capital on a whole lot of jack and squat this last few months.

At least he’s entirely consistent (like he loves to remind us), that he’s spending both our money and his capital at a torrid pace. Funny thing is he’s running out of both.

ted c on August 16, 2009 at 2:43 PM

I agree. Everything the government has ever touched has turned to shit. For now we have to fight these rearguard actions to keep these thieves from destroying the nation. Eventually we’ll roll these socialist boondoggles back but for now its time to hold them in place.

elduende on August 16, 2009

Found it. Thought it was good enough to share over here, too.

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 2:45 PM

SKYFOX on August 16, 2009 at 2:45 PM

;-)

elduende on August 16, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Good. It’s better to have no public option than a weak one.

crr6 on August 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Your tears are tasty.

fossten on August 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM

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