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Thread: Dems cave utterly on healthcare: no public option is on the table, no reform, zero.

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Dems cave utterly on healthcare: no public option is on the table, no reform, zero.

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government-run health insurance option favored by President Barack Obama is not essential to a healthcare overhaul as long as the final measure boosts competition, a top U.S. health official said on Sunday.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a public insurance option was "not the essential element" of any overhaul, and non-profit cooperatives being considered by a Senate panel could also fulfill the White House goal of creating more competition on insurance.

    "I think what's important is choice and competition, and I'm convinced that at the end of the day the plan will have both of those -- but that is not the essential element," she said of the government-run insurance option on CNN's "State of the Union" show.

    "The president is just continuing to say let's not have this be the only focus of the conversation," Sebelius said.

    Democratic proposals in Congress for a government-run insurance option have sparked intense opposition from Republicans who argue it would unfairly compete with private plans and would cripple the insurance industry.

    The government option has become a key focus of opposition charges that the overhaul, Obama's top domestic priority, would amount to a government takeover of healthcare.

    Six members of the Senate Finance Committee -- three from each party -- have been negotiating a reform package that would feature member-controlled non-profit cooperatives instead of the government-run plan.

    "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."

    'BOTTOM LINE' CONCERNS

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs avoided a direct response when asked if the exclusion of a government-run option would be a deal-breaker for Obama.

    "The president believes the option of a government plan is the best way to provide competition," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation," but he added the White House looked forward to the Finance Committee's ideas.

    "The bottom line again is do individuals looking for health insurance in the private market have choice and competition?" Gibbs said. "If we have that the president will be satisfied."

    Obama has pushed a healthcare overhaul that he says would rein in costs, improve care and extend coverage to most of the 46 million uninsured Americans, but the measure has run into stiff opposition from Republican and conservative groups and some elements of the healthcare industry.

    Lawmakers at home for the August recess have faced vocal and sometimes disruptive critics at healthcare information sessions. The controversy has driven down Obama's approval ratings and possibly jeopardized passage of the healthcare legislation when Congress returns in September...

    Public insurance plan not essential: Sebelius | U.S. | Reuters
    Eh, there's more but what's the point. Enjoy your lack of 'change' and Obama selling you out to the insurance companies.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Of course darling, of course. Did we ever believe in any other outcome?

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Anyone that's shocked or upset about this must've been living in a cave the past 50 years.

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    Seriously? They're giving up now? I've seen tons of town hall meetings televised this week...seems early to throw in the towel. I think they're pulling this article out of their ass. This week Obama will be on TV saying it's not true.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Obama was the first one to dump the public thing. This bitch is just confirming it.

    "A day after President Obama appeared to suggest that his administration might be open to health care reform legislation that does not include a public health insurance option," CNN reports HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "left the door open to accepting nonprofit health insurance co-ops, a proposal that has gained traction in bipartisan negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee."

    Said Sebelius: " A public option is not an essential element."
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    If Obama and the Dems cave on the public option it wouldn't shock me at all. Only the Dems can fuck up having a filibuster-proof majority.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    They already have caved.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Have faith: CHANGE

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    That isn't what she's saying. She's responding to critics (some of whom I know) who keep claiming the bill has no healthcare reform and is only a public option. This isn't true since the bill is mosly reform with a public option attatched as an additional measure of reform.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The public option was THE lynchpin! THe bill is cosmetic changes and industry handouts without it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    If the Dems drop the public option, which they haven't done yet, then they've completely caved on real reform.

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    Sen. Conrad: Public option a 'wasted effort'


    A public health insurance option took more hits Sunday as Sen. Kent Conrad described its pursuit as a “wasted effort” and an administration official said it is not an “essential” part of reform.

    Conrad (D-N.D.), who supports setting up health insurance co-operatives with government seed money to compete with private insurers, described the public option as all but a lost cause.

    “Look, the fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the U.S. Senate for the public option, there never have been,” Conrad said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”

    “So to continue to chase that rabbit is, I think, a wasted effort,” Conrad said.

    His comments followed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s remark that a public option is “not the essential element” to ensure competition in the health insurance market. Sebelius made the remark on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    A public option is included in legislation moving through the House, and is backed by liberals, who would feel betrayed if it is not a part of a final bill. They see a public insurance plan as critical to ensure that private insurance companies offer coverage and lower costs.

    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) told CNN is would be “very difficult” for she and other liberals to support legislation that does not include a public option.

    “The only way we can be sure that very low-income people and persons who work for companies that don’t offer insurance have access to it, is through an option that would give the private insurance companies a little competition,” she said.

    Johnson added that House liberals have already told the Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that she should insist on the White House supporting a public option.

    But as reflected by Conrad’s comments, the public option does not have support from Senate Republicans or centrist Democrats trying to reach a bipartisan compromise. Conrad is one of six members of the Senate Finance Committee negotiating a bipartisan bill.

    Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who joined Conrad on Fox, said moving to co-ops would be a “step in the right direction” from what he said he saw as a government takeover of healthcare. He said co-ops are something Congress should look at in considering healthcare reform legislation.

    Conrad also suggested Finance may not make a mid-September deadline for reaching an agreement. He said the six senators on the panel who are working on a compromise have agreed to "be ready when we're ready," While Conrad said they hope to reach a conclusion by mid-September, they won't be bound by that timeframe.

    “This is not something that should be held hostage to any specific deadline,” he said.

    TheHill.com - Sen. Conrad: Public option a 'wasted effort'
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    yeah, so forget that 70% of the public wants it or anything. To hell with having a GOOD bill, bipartisanship must trump all.. nevermind that the rethugs dont give a flying fuck about bipartisanship at all. Obama is going to be a one term loser if he keeps sacrificing bold policy for mealymouthed caving.

    and king, if they're talking about dropping it, that means it's already been dropped and they're leaking it to the public.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Grim, the only people that can add or remove anything from the bill now are Congress, and Congress is in recess. That's why when the Republican Grassley said that they had taken out the 'end of life' consultations it didn't make any sense, because Congress was already in recess.

    What that article is saying is that Obama would be willing to sacrifice the public option (a dumb move) just to pass a reform bill which wouldn't be reform at all. At this point, nothing is official until Congress comes back from recess in September.

  15. #15
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    and again, if they're talking about it publicly it's already been decided by those who control the process. The rest is window dressing.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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