Sebelius: Sure, the White House might still support a public option

posted at 10:02 am on February 19, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’ve been ringing the alarm bell about this, but now that I’ve watched Sebelius, I think the whole thing’s a lame bluff. Note well how she qualifies her reply to Maddow: Yeah, sure, we’re totally open to a public plan — so long as there’s a majority in the Senate that’ll go for it. Which is her way of hinting (a) that The One’s not going to push them on this (which is true to form, much to the left’s dismay) and (b) there almost certainly isn’t a majority in the Senate that’ll go for it. Open Left is touting the fact that 20 Dems have apparently now endorsed using reconciliation to pass the public option, but as Karl pointed out to me last night, those in the know have been warning progressives for weeks that they don’t have 50 votes to do it. No wonder, then, that a public plan isn’t mentioned in the NYT’s story about Obama writing up a compromise bill to present at next week’s health-care photo op summit:

Democratic officials said the president’s proposal was being written so that it could be attached to a budget bill as a way of averting a Republican filibuster in the Senate. The procedure, known as budget reconciliation, would let Democrats advance the bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

Congressional Democrats, however, have not yet seen the proposal or signed on

“It will be a reconciliation bill,” one Democratic aide said. “If Republicans don’t come with any substantial offers, this is what we would do.”…

The president’s plan would require most Americans to obtain health insurance or face financial penalties; it would bar insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, and it would give tax subsidies to help moderate-income people buy private insurance.

Officials said the president’s bill was expected to include a version of the Senate’s proposed tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored insurance policies. It would reflect a deal reached with labor union leaders to limit the impact of the tax on workers.

Abortion’s still a “wild card.” As for the recent murmuring about the public option, besides being a cheap and easy way for lefty senators to prove their progressive bona fides to liberals, it’s probably just kabuki aimed at giving Democrats something they can fake-concede at the health-care summit to prove to America what gentle, compromising souls they all are. Imagine how patriotic hearts will swell when Durbin and Schumer and Russ Feingold decide that, in the interest of glorious bipartisanship, they’re going to give up the dream of a government plan that they, er, couldn’t pass anyway.

One last question, though. How can they have 50 votes to pass The One’s ObamaCare bill but not have 50 votes to pass the public option? Which Democrats are willing to swallow the poison pill of voting for a bill that’s politically toxic but aren’t willing to vote for a bill that’s a tiny bit more politically toxic (or, actually, a tiny bit less politically toxic)?

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So the thing is dead on its face.

bilups on February 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM

agreed. the idea of reconcilliation is an empty threat that only a true amatuer like Obama would even consider making.

all that is left for the Dems is damage control..they started that two weeks ago with the ‘party of no’ meme.

but avoiding the summit would be a mistake for the GOP. the WANT the health care debate to continue right through to the Fall. it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

DrW on February 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Obama and his Merry Little Band of Thieve are trying to Bluff their way into getting some Republican cover for their takeover of the economy! Call their Bluff! If they want to pass this monster, let them pass it and we will unpass it in the near future! I , for one, am tired of their bluster and arrogance. I am resigned to the fact that they may bankrupt the country with their Communist schemes. Then so be it! We can start over and may ultimately be better off. Can you imagine that sane people would create another EPA, DOE, or Department of Education?

Marco on February 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

They’re pandering, the pandering panderers.

Hold Public Option up to a mirror and you will see that it has no reflection.

Akzed on February 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Obama is going to write a proposal???? Are we sure Ayres isn’t writing it for him? LOL

I’d bet by the time he has to show it to the world, he’ll come to the cameras and say….my dog ate my homework. lol

capejasmine on February 19, 2010 at 12:37 PM

but avoiding the summit would be a mistake for the GOP. the WANT the health care debate to continue right through to the Fall. it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

DrW on February 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

For the GOP to participate in anything that is designed to resuscitate this zombie legislation that has already been killed more times than any bill I’ve ever heard of, would be a mistake of immense proportions – both from a tactical legislative point of view and also from a common sense point of view.

The GOP needs to have nothing to do with any further efforts to rescue an un-Constitutional, hated, crappy piece of legislation. That is what America wants and that is what is right.

How many times do we have to kill this before you’ll say, “Enough with the bill! No more.”?

neurosculptor on February 19, 2010 at 12:46 PM

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s 86-year-old senior senator, was diagnosed with treatable cancer in the stomach in the last 24 hours and will begin chemotherapy today.

But due to ObamaCare constraints, he will be left to die in an alley in Atlantic City.

J_Crater on February 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Of course “it’s alive”. Even if it is dead it will remain “alive” because the Democrats can not afford to actually throw in the towel on the issue. If they do, they lose the extreme left segment of their base so they will continue paying lip service to it knowing full well that passing it would get them kicked out of Congress.

But what they don’t get is that just keeping it alive in rhetoric is just as effective at getting them kicked out as passing it is.

The Democrats are going to be an endangered species in Washington come next January … and in many state and local jurisdictions, too.

crosspatch on February 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

“They’re pandering, the pandering panderers. ”

Someone should do a remake of Donna Summers’ “The Wanderer” but change the words a little … “I’m a panderer”.

crosspatch on February 19, 2010 at 1:36 PM

UltimateBob on February 19, 2010 at 10:22 AM
My dog is more attractive than her…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Your dog is Miss America compared to Butch Napolitano and Chuck Romer then.

PatMac on February 19, 2010 at 1:55 PM

It’s all just an INFOMERCIAL!!!!!

Dhuka on February 19, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Sibelius: “…to make sure that companies cannot write their own rules, and that’s what’s happening all over the country”

Why can’t companies write their own rules if they are complying with each state’s regulations?

These controllers and lovers of the State (writ large) really do want a one-size-fits all. F’em.

onlineanalyst on February 19, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I have a question but I don’t know if anyone is from Kansas to answer. I have seen no more straight down the line democrat hack than Sebelius. How did she get elected twice to the Governorship in Kansas? ESPECIALLY with her abortion advocacy. This person has NO ability to reach across any demopgraphic but her own that I can see and it is a complete mystery how Kansas her see her as anything but a flaming liberal and very elitist.

Conan on February 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

I am beginning to think AceOfSpades is correct.

They are really serious about trying to get this sick horse across the finish line.

Dhuka on February 19, 2010 at 11:23 PM

You can’t kill a bad idea.

virgo on February 20, 2010 at 11:29 AM