The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine


Actions tell you what politicians really care about.  For example the Senate Health, Education,  Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee hasn’t put out a public option on health care, because two Democratic members won’t vote for it.

“Not even at Rahm’s level has anyone specifically called members of the HELP committee and said ‘we want this public option,’ said the source. “No one from the White House has called and put pressure on any of them.”

Obama says that a robust public option is important to him.  But it’s all about priorities.    The war and IMF money to bail out Eastern European banks was a White House priority, you could tell because Obama himself whipped for it when it was in trouble, just as he did for the TARP bailout funds..  A real public option?  It’d be nice to have, says Obama, just like he said he’d like to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

He’d like to.  But he won’t expend any effort or capital for either.

I wonder how much capital he’ll expend for real health care reform.  Is something that can be called “health care reform” enough, or does he really want the real thing?

We’ll see.


Bailout Nation Book Salon at FDL


Senate Finance Committee: We’re Going to Make You Buy Bad Insurance With No Public Option


  1. rumor

    Based on Obama’s senatorial work and campaign and the people he brought into his administration (Clinton notwithstanding), I think we all know quite well how little interest he has in meaningful health care reform. Call me skeptical perhaps, but I don’t think there can be much hope here.

  2. senecal

    Clearly he’s conservative economically, Wall Street has his ear (just as Rubin had Clinton’s), and those guys believe that because of looming federal deficits we are on the brink of “hyper-inflation”, and so this is no time to introduce any massive public program like single payer, or pub-op. And that’s without knowing what his relationship with Big Pharma is.

  3. CoyoteCreek

    Just read a new NBC/WSJ poll showing 76% (76%!!!!!!) of Americans want a public health care option.

    When was the last time 76% of this country agreed on anything?

    The fact that every Democrats in DC is not out screaming for national health care at the top of their lungs is a travesty. But we also hear that the (supposedly) head Democrat is even trying to make sure that it doesn’t happen – now, or ever.

    I guess greed makes people stupid, too.

    Simply stupid.

  4. jbaspen

    Sometimes, it seems as if Obama is the servant of his own “Guardian Council”. Instead of mullahs, however, we have ne0-liberal banking and insurance interests. You make an excellent point, Coyote, that despite all the insurance company lobbying and TV propaganda, the VAST majority of the American People want the Single-Payor Option seriously considered if not implemented! This was given short shift on the corporate media this morning.

    We talk about the disgrace of the 50 million or so uninsured in this Country. A subject that’s not seldom discussed is the fact that untold medical insurance policies in America are what I’d call catastrophic/swiss cheese policies. Their owners live in fear of medical calamities.

  5. What matter the color of the puppet’s skin?

    I promised myself I would participate in the process just one more time. I voted for change. And I promised myself if I found we were sold down the river just one more time…

    Oregon (Washington, N Idaho, W Montana & S British Colombia) was a Republic, before it was a “state”. Ain’t nothin’ east of The Rockies, south of The Alvord, we need.

  6. b.

    ‘Is something that can be called “health care reform” enough, or does he really want the real thing?’

    You are still wondering?

    No change 2009?
    Nobama 2012.

  7. gtash

    I have said to others that I think Obama is a Reagan Democrat, and I think that was clear before the campaign for the presidency had ended. Since election, he seems a lot like Reagan to me in that he knows how to deliver a good speech, prefers to project optimism and seek harmony. His economic preferences run to the corporate and the wealthy (his actions, not his words). And he believes in being a strong executive surrounding himself with strong enforcers to work out the details. And he likes unilateral power and secrecy almost as much as Reagan and Bush. The other day I was watching Rachel Maddow interview an ACLU attorney and he held up a Bush-redacted CIA torture memo, and then the same one with Obama-redactions. They were identical. And I thought: “The Opacity of Hope”.

    The public option is a stand-in for single payer until the American consumer has a chance to vote with his/her feet and force Big Insurance to address the market fully, or get out of it altogether. You would think this would appeal to Obama given his oratory. But he is a Reagan Democrat.

    There is no way he is going to go down that road.

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