Is the Public Option Dead?
Josh Marshall reports the public option is dead.
The AP is reporting that the Senate Dems have come to a tentative deal, which drops the Public Option from the senate health care bill. What is in its place, if anything, is not clear.
The Associated Press lacks details about why the public option was dropped. What is clear is Majority Leader Harry Reid ruled ruled cloture to pass the public option with less than 60 votes. This is a tactical mistake. I understand the Senate health care bill would be debated and voted on in piece meal. I actually think that is a great idea.
The good news is Sen. Ben Nelson's anti-abortion amendment failed on a 54 to 45 vote. Nelson said the amendment's failure "makes it harder to be supportive." Like Nelson was actually going to vote for the public option. Nelson just wanted to get his amendment in.
What is clear is President Barack Obama's lack of leadership on the public option. Mainly, the President and Rahm Emanuel have been trying to kill the public option. As much as people such as Kenneth Quinnell, want to have you believe the fantasy that Obama supported the public option. Obama told Senate Democrats he prefers a trigger. Obama spoke to Senate Democrats this weekend and didn't once mention the public option or Nelson's anti-abortion amendment. Obama is not conserned with protecting women reproductive rights or creating a competitive health care market. Obama wants a political victory and to increase business of the health insurance industry. The lobbying money from insurance companies will help Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
Cenk Uygur blasts Obama for not lobbying for the public option. Is this the change Democratic voters were expecting?
Update: Jay Rockefeller confirms there will be no Medicaid expansion deal.
This afternoon, Jay Rockefeller said that the new proposal to expand Medicaid coverage for those who are 133% to 150% above the federal poverty line was dropped during a meeting of key legislators this morning. “I was sad this morning,” Rockefeller told me and a few other reporters. “We walked in, and it was 133[%] to 140[%], then it’s staying at 133... So we didn’t get anything.”
Kent Conrad said Governors did not want to pay funding into Medicaid. Considering the current economic situation that is understandable.
Update: the opt-out public option is gone. Medicare will be expanded for people 55 to 64 for people 133 percent above the poverty line. The idea is to reduce cost. We just added people to the Medicare rolls that can't afford health insurance. There are good arguments to add these people for medical and humanitarian reasons. The Senate is not addressing rising health care cost. That was the whole point of the debate. This is a victory for the health industry lobbyists.
I am not even going to waste my time discussing the trigger.