- According to a story in this morning’s NY Times, the Obama administration is signaling that it could step back from an insistence on a public option for health care. In its place we might be offered some form of non-profit health cooperative. The problem with that is that no cooperative would be large enough to negotiate effectively with big pharma.
It is always tough to lose an election. It is even worse to win one and then see the advantages of that win thrown a way by a coalition of Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats. Our local Blue Dog, Congresswoman Giffords, has said she strongly supports a public option, but neither Giffords, nor the rest of us, can say exactly what that public option might be.
In his August 13th column Paul Krugman opened with a quote from then candidate Barack Obama:
“I am in this race because I don’t want to see us spend the next year re-fighting the Washington battles of the 1990s. I don’t want to pit Blue America against Red America; I want to lead a United States of America.” So declared Barack Obama in November 2007, making the case that Democrats should nominate him, rather than one of his rivals, because he could free the nation from the bitter partisanship of the past.
The Republicans didn’t get the message, which might have worked out okay, if only the Blue Dogs hadn’t crossed the aisle.
It’s time for the President to get tough. Why not a private conference with each of the Blue Dogs suggesting how difficult it would be for their personal legislative agendas to become law if they didn’t re-think their positions on the Public Option?
Why don’t the Democrats simply cut the Republicans out of the process…as the Republicans have done in the past when they were in control; and the way the Republicans in Arizona’s legislature are doing right now. Screw ‘hands across the aisle’ and ‘can’t we all just get along.’ Let’s just cram healtcare reform down their throats. It’s the right thing to do.