Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Public Option was never an option

Always true to form, the dreaded October Surprise is sprung on the Democrats, and it comes from their own incompetent leadership. From ThinkProgress:
In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

The Senate didn't drop the public option until December 9, and the White House claimed to be fighting for it up until that point. Daschle, a former Senate Minority Leader and lobbyist for for a firm that did work for insurance and pharmaceutical companies, fought against the public option from the moment he was brought on. Why is it not surprising that Daschle would release a book a month before the midterms trying to help bolster support, and inadvertently include damning information about an inside deal that completely deflates the base?

Speaking as a Democratic voter and part of the liberal base that gets daily calls to come help man the phones and knock on doors and give money, the feelings of betrayal and helplessness upon hearing news like this is pretty serious, certainly much worse than anything the Republicans could say. This is the kind of revelation that makes people like me throw up our hands and ask why we even bother.

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