Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Public Option is Really Most Sincerely Dead

Via Memeorandum

Without the benefit of the coroner, we can only take the word of some nameless Democratic senators who  say they have a tentative deal to drop the public option from health care legislation.  Senator Harkin (D Iowa) reportedly doesn't like the agreement but will "support it to the hilt to pass health care legislation."  Well, that makes me feel better already.  Good to know Democrats will support any ole piece of garbage legislation just to claim a win on health care.

So what's not to love with this new agreement.:

In its place, officials said Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage, with the possibility of greater government involvement if needed to ensure consumers of sufficient choices in coverage.

Additionally, the emerging agreement calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the 65-and-over population.
Oh joy!  Expanding Medicare to include the 55-65 age group will probably do wonders for the deficit.  The public option will be replaced by a private option with a government panel to oversee the process, what could go wrong?  If anything can go wrong it will surely come in when the "possibility of greater government involvement" contingency kicks in.

So, is the public option dead?

In his comments to reporters, Reid said the emerging compromise "includes a public option and will help ensure the American people win in two ways: one, insurance companies will face more competition, and two, the American people will have more choices."

It wasn't clear what he meant by a "public option," the Medicare expansion or a fallback in case private insurance companies declined to participate in the nationwide plan envisioned to be overseen by the Office of Personnel Management. One possibility was for the agency to set up a government-run plan, either national in scope or on a state-by-state basis.

Okay then, the public option is gone but Reid says it is included.  Someone will have to run a few of those CSpan clips so we can figure out whether it is in or out.  Oh wait there aren't any.   Michelle Malkin sums up the problem with Democrats and the "public option:"
Hell if I know if the public option is really dead or not. As usual, there’s no concrete language for the public to see. Only public press conferences alluding to vague backroom door agreements. Safe bet: The public option is a Democrat policy toe fungus that may disappear temporarily, but will come back with a vengeance later.
For what its worth, the lefty blogs that aren't having a heart attack on hearing the news the public option is dead are reporting that the plan that is left is a trigger.  Music to Olympia Snowe's ears I am sure, though she reportedly doesn't like the Medicare expansion.  Mary Landrieu (D LA) is opposed to the Medicare expansion as well; odds are that gets tossed out to get 60 votes.   If you weed through all the muck, you're left with a plan with a trigger, which is going to pass.  Erick Erickson comments that it is time for the Republicans to put up a serious fight, their current strategy is not working.  I have to agree.


  1. The public option is obviously as dead as a doornail. My advice to the progressives is to take what they can get now.

    I don't know what kind of health care reform will come out of this session, but I strongly suspect it won't be much. There is, however a silver lining behind this very dark cloud. I am reminded of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Don't be embarrassed if you've never heard of it, there really isn't a hell of a lot to remember about it; a mere pittance, really - a scrap of leftovers tossed out to "American Negros" (in the parlance of the age) in order to appease them. But it made the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - the one we remember - all-the-more easier seven years later.

    We'll live to fight another day.

    Tom Degan

  2. Thanks for the comment Tom. I added your blog to my blogroll. I think the public option is and has been dead for quite a while as well. The Democrats can't bear to break the news to their base, which is why this long protracted B movie death is dragging out.

    We don't have the votes to stop this so I hope that you are correct that what comes out of this won't be much more than a scrap.


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