Friday, September 18, 2009

Health Care. Where Are We Now?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, “The public option will be in the bill that passes the House.”

It doesn't seem to matter to Pelosi that a a key Senate negotiator, Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, says the public option is dead and does not have the votes in the Senate. Even President Obama is backing away from it:

Asked Sunday if Obama would accept a bill lacking a public option, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president insists on more competition in the health insurance marketplace to offer consumers better choices.

"The bottom line ... is: Do individuals looking for health insurance in the private market have choice and competition?" Gibbs said on the CBS program "Face the Nation." "If we have that, the president will be satisfied."

Pelosi seems determined to defy even Obama. But this should come at no surprise from a woman who fakes tears as she voices her concerns about the protests and what could cause violence:

“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw — I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco, this kind of — of rhetoric was very frightening and it gave — it created a climate in which we — violence took place.”

The only problem with this touching display is that the only violence that has taken place at the protest have come from her side.

There actually does seem to be a way to compromise on a healthcare bill. There are many elements that we all agree need to be reformed. We need to pass those. But with Pelosi insisting on the public option, it may derail the whole thing. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with the Republicans. It is blue dog Democrats that are against the public option.

Meanwhile, (chairman of the Senate Finance Committee) "Montana Sen. Max Baucus' proposal would cost $774 billion over 10 years while reducing the federal deficit by $49 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office."

The plan would require all Americans to have health insurance but lacks a government-run public health insurance option favored by Obama and most Democrats

Pres. Obama, to sell health care reform, is hitting the campaign trail again, where he seems to be the most comfortable, and plans back to back TV interviews Sunday. We have never had a President who loved to go on TV as much a this one. President Obama has done 114 interviews, compared to 37 by former President Bush and 41 by former president Clinton in the same time period.

The reason is simple to me. Pres. Obama personally is much much more popular than his ideas. And God knows Americans would rather see him touting health care than Nancy Pelosi.