Pulling Plug on Single Payer?


Was this a slip on the part of Rachel Maddow, who NBC was pumping up by granting her an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday, when she used Single Payer and Public Option interchangeably?

I don’t think liberals monolithically feel one thing about this.  I think most liberals would probably prefer a single payer system, honestly.  But ultimately, if the president decides that he’s going to go with a reform effort that doesn’t include a public option, what he will have done is spent a ton of political capital, riled up an incredibly angry right wing base who’s been told that this is a plot to kill grandma, grandma, and he will have achieved something that doesn’t change health care very much and that doesn’t save us very much money and won’t do very much for the American people.  It’s not a very good thing to spend a lot of political capital on.

So how angry will Maddow and fellow leftists be now that the White House appears to be caving on the Single Payer fight? On Fox News Sunday, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, one of the key six negotiators trying to hammer out a deal, said there is no support in the Senate for the Public Option.

“The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been,” he said. “So to continue to chase that rabbit I think is just a wasted effort.”

Conrad and other negotiators on the finance committee are instead pushing a system of nonprofit insurance cooperatives, as an alternative to the public plan.

“Co-ops are very prevalent in our society,” Conrad said.”They’ve been a very successful business model.”

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, confirmed the signal by saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that a public option is not essential to ObamaCare.

“I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing. We need some choices, we need some competition.”

In case you’re in doubt, the presidential spokesman himself started backing away from the Public Option on Face the Nation.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that the “bottom line” for the president is “choice and competition in the insurance market.”

“The president has thus far sided with the notion that that can best be done through a public option,” Gibbs said.

The head guy at the White House was on the same page.

In an interview yesterday, David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said the president remained convinced that a public plan was “the best way to go.’’ But Axelrod said the nuances of how to develop a nonprofit competitor to private industry have never been “carved in stone.’’

No Responses Yet to “Pulling Plug on Single Payer?”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: