Friday, September 04, 2009

The Disappearing Public Option

I wrote a post two days ago noting the public option is polling higher than President Barack Obama. Jed Lewison noticed the same polling thread. The latest Research 2000 poll has the public option at 58 percent and the President's favorability rating at 52 percent.

Other polls:

CBS News has the public option at 60 percent. A Kaiser poll has the public option at 59 percent. With supermajorities in the House and Senate, it would appear possible to pass the public option. Greg Sargent found a White House memo that makes no mention of public option polling.

Okay, so the White House is circulating an upbeat polling memo citing a bunch of public surveys showing that public opinion still tilts heavily in Obama’s favor on health care.

The memo, by Obama pollster Joel Benenson, doesn’t mention the public option (the White House may not be committed to it) and largely cites general numbers showing support for action and for Obama’s plan.

But here’s the funny thing: We went back and checked, and virtually every poll cited in this memo also found strong support for the inclusion of a public plan.

The only public option poll cited by the memo is an MSNBC poll with the public option at 43 percent. Sargent explains the poll was controversal because it did not inform respondants the public option was a choice. It is clear the Obama administration wants to kill the public option. There are sereral polls showing support for the public option. The White House chooses the worst poll.

Back in June, Obama refused to firmly back the public option. Obama cut a deal with Big PHAMA. Obama agreed to Medicare not being able to negotiate for lower drug prices. The pharmaceutical industry passes $80 million in saving over ten years. That is $8 million-a-year. That is a wise investment for multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. Millions of Americans receive their prescription drugs through Medicare. Wal-Mart was able to negotiate for chaeper prescription drugs. Obama will not allow Medicare the same right. Big PHAMA will continue to makes billions by rasing prices.

Obama attempted to appoint Tom Daschle as Health & Human Services Sec. Daschle has longstanding ties to health reform opponent UnitedHealth and Alston & Bird. Daschle is a registered lobbyist. This was the man Obama told American that would reform health care.

Obama is against the public option. It was the carrot on the stick to entice progressives. The Obama plan is Big BIG PHAMA happy and mandate every American buying private health insurance. The health industry lobbying money will put Obama over the top in 2012. I can't think of another reason.

Obama has the supermajorities. The public option is polling well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the 60 member Progressive Caucus will not pass a health care bill that excludes the public option. Obama is not attempting reform and had closed door meeting with health industry officials. Every passing day makes Obama less of the reform candidate proclaimed himself to be.

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At September 04, 2009 9:47 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Michael, while I appreciate your tenacity on this an many other subjects I have to disagree with you. Your assuming the President is now against the public option, when he has been championing it during the 08 campaign and to this day. Yes he had ONE closed door meeting some pharmaceutical bu that doesn't mean he is bowing to there whims preparing for 2012. As progressive (like me) as you are shouldn't jump to conclusions based on one meeting, thats a little disingenuous. While I'll agree attempting to put Tom Daschle as head of HHR was not a smart move, the administration has moved well past that, and I look forward to the day that the public option version on HR3200 reaches the presidents desk.

At September 04, 2009 10:20 PM , Blogger libhom said...

Barack Obama has betrayed liberal so many times there's just no way we can ever trust him again. He's another Clintonian Republican that we will have to fight against for at least the next 3 and a half years.

If the plan that results doesn't at least have a strong public option, I will call my Senators and demand they vote against it. If either of them personally betray me by voting for it, I will punish them the next time they run for election by voting Green.

It is my inalienable right as an American to have government provided healthcare. That is a birthright of us all. I will fight back against any corrupt politician who tries to deny me my basic right.

At September 05, 2009 12:30 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

Neal, I would be more than happy to be proved wrong on this.

Libhom, the Clinton health care plan was much more ambitious than Obama's proposal. Hillary Clinton has done a good job at State. She got the Pakistan government to take action against the Taliban. Pakistan blew off Rice and Powell.


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