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Here Comes The Health Care Surrender

“Sources” from within the White House say that President Obama is preparing to abandon his support for the public option in health insurance reform.

The Obama White House’s emerging position is that he will support health care legislation that contains no public program to provide health insurance at all, but merely contains a few changes around the edges to alter coverage and to make the health care system more fiscally sustainable for public institutions. It’s not even certain that this approach would achieve its goals.

caduceus wiltingOne of the provisions remaining in the watered down proposal is that insurance companies would be required to provide coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Stop and think about that, now. If the insurance companies provide medical coverage to people who are already sick, how is that going to drive down costs, if there isn’t a change in the underlying structure, with the inefficiencies private insurance companies bring?

Someone’s going to pay for the extra costs, and it won’t be the government. That leaves the insurance companies and the American people. Given what you know about insurance companies, what do you think will happen – will they absorb the costs, or pass it on to their customers?

There is another option, actually – increased rationing of medical care by insurance company bureaucrats. The insurance companies could expand coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, but then increase the number of rejection slips they send out.

Happy days.

What most people seem to forget is that the public option was itself a compromise. Last year, we were promised a universal health care program. Then, in order to compromise, Obama threw consideration of single-payer health care out the window to start with.

When it comes to the first fallback position on health care reform, the public option, it isn’t only the Republicans have been causing problems. Democrats in Congress are also to blame – after all, they have strong majority control of both houses.

In the House of Representatives, the Blue Dogs have howled and refused to cooperate with health care reform. In the Senate, right wing Democrats have also obstructed legislative progress. It’s the opposition to the public option from right-leaning Democratic senators like Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln that’s led to the trouble there.

If you want to understand why meaningful health care reform has fallen apart, take a look at Obama’s inability to rally the Democrats in Congress in creating progressive change. It’s a problem that suggests there’s a lot more disappointment to come.

8 comments to Here Comes The Health Care Surrender

  • randy ray haugen

    compromise.
    it’s turned into a four letter word. is it better to get something than nothing? in his attempt to get a bi-partisan reform the president seems willing to abandon the cornerstone of his promise for universal coverage. without the public option the big business boys will still gouge the patient and doctors out of quality care and prevention. and so will go the cost reduction that could be. it would be better to stand firm and go down in defeat than to water down reform to the point of making things worse than they already are. obama is playing right into the hands of his opposition by compromising his principals in this debate. even if they get watered down reforms the right will declare victory and the left will feel betrayed. how will that help anything? we need single-payer. we need to fight for that. if we lose we need to gear up and fight again. when premiums keep going up and service keeps declining, as profits for drug companies and insurance providers skyrocket, eventually even the most gullible of americans will catch on. it may take another twenty years, but, it will happen. problem being, it will, by that time , be forty years too late.

  • qs

    Quick, pull your kids out of school. Obama is having a school wide speech addressing his youth.

    There was a story last week on the DailyPaul about having the Obama’s Department of Education instructing the teachers to make the students watch Zero make his address. I don’t know if that was true or not, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

    • Jim

      If you don’t know whether it’s true or not, why would you spread the rumor?

      Go check and see if you can find any primary source and report back whether the Department of Education is “instructing teachers to make the students” watch a Barack Obama speech.

      • John Stracke

        My children’s principal sent out a note denying it. Nobody has asked her to have children watch it; she has not told the teachers to have children watch it; and it might not even be possible for all the children in the school to watch it, since not all rooms have TVs.

        And the DOE bit is nonsense; the federal government doesn’t have the authority to dictate curricula.

  • ReMarker

    Media Matters: Conservative media take note: Reagan preached tax cut gospel to America’s studentshttp://mediamatters.org/blog/200909030020

    HuffPo: Obama Schoolchildren Speech Drives Right-Wingers Batty
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/03/obama-schoolchildren-spee_n_276544.html

  • Ken

    Here’s my trigger. Pass a Health Care plan with the Public Option. If Health Care cost’s don’t go down in 24 months, a trigger kicks in mandating everyone to buy Private Insurance

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