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As Obama Cools to Senate's Public Option Plan, Progressives Target Him in New Ad

Obamapublicoption

UPDATED

Obama's apparent preference for a "trigger" option in health care reform rather than the more progressive option with a state opt-out clause has Senate Democrats bewildered and left fighting for the most fundamental health care reform the nation has seen in decades on their own.

Obama_reid HuffPost: "President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan 'triggered' into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks. The administration retreat runs counter to the letter and the spirit of Obama's presidential campaign. The man who ran on the 'Audacity of Hope' has now taken a more conservative stand than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), leaving progressives with a mix of confusion and outrage. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have battled conservatives in their own party in an effort to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Now tantalizingly close, they are calling for Obama to step up."

Said a Democratic source to the Huffington Post: "He's been so convinced by his political people from the beginning that we can't get a bill with a public option, he's internalized it. Even though it's now become obvious we can get a bill without selling out the public option, he's still on that path."

The White House's curious stance on the issue appears to hinge on Obama's concern for a bipartisan bill and the reelection of Blue Dog Democrats. It has also made the President the target of an ad and petition by the  Progressive Change Campaign Committee, warning him not to compromise.

Talking Points Memo notes: "The spot will air at least 100 times in Maine, augmented by an online fundraising drive. The group's recent ad targeting Snowe helped them raise over $100,000."

Whitehouse UPDATE: The White House has issued a statement regarding these reports. "A rumor is making the rounds that the White House and Senator Reid are pursuing different strategies on the public option. Those rumors are absolutely false. In his September 9th address to Congress, President Obama made clear that he supports the public option because it has the potential to play an essential role in holding insurance companies accountable through choice and competition. That continues to be the President's position. Senator Reid and his leadership team are now working to get the most effective bill possible approved by the Senate. President Obama completely supports their efforts and has full confidence they will succeed and continue the unprecedented progress that is being made in both the House and Senate.

Watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Totally out of topic: but I'm totally creeped out by the way the guy modulates his mouth in this ad. It seems forced for TV.

    Posted by: Smokey | Oct 25, 2009 1:16:32 PM


  2. "He's been so convinced by his political people from the beginning that we can't get a bill with a public option, he's internalized it. Even though it's now become obvious we can get a bill without selling out the public option, he's still on that path."

    That's patently ABSURD. Does the guy not pick up a newspaper and read the polls? Give me a break.

    Here's the real breakdown of events:


    1) dump single payer immediately

    2) make deals with pharma and insurance industries to dump GOP candidates and back Dem candidates in exchange for reform that either doesn't hurt their bottom line or significantly improves it

    3) hand off health reform to 3 blue dogs and 3 rethugs who are in the pocket of the very industries they're supposed to reform, and who do their best to kill the public option

    4) When support for public option stubbornly refuses to die with progressives, send out Rahm and other spokesbitches to make the public option seem non essential and mock anybody who disagrees as a fringe extremist, all the while keeping YOUR own nose clean by stating publicly that you really want the public option, like a sackless coward.

    5) When all other options have failed,and progressives have rallied around the public option (much to your dismay), cling to the lone GOP senator who *might* support a health reform bill as long as it doesn't contain any actual real reform. Continue stating your preference (in public at least) to a strong public option all the while secretly trying to undercut any effort which would see your pretty pharma/insurance industry deal fall apart and you be exposed as a total lying fraud.

    Posted by: Grimmlok | Oct 25, 2009 1:57:36 PM


  3. I've read that it's not so much that he's pushing hard for a trigger, but he expressed to Democratic congressional leadership his skepticism that they'd have the votes to pass a true public option. In any case, the ad is great because we need to push him to do the right thing here.

    There should be ads aimed at Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Evan Bayh as well.

    Posted by: Bruno | Oct 25, 2009 2:18:46 PM


  4. If he was the most liberal senator before running for office, how sad. He disappoints me.

    Posted by: Soso | Oct 25, 2009 3:55:01 PM


  5. If the republicans want to play party politics and kill the health care bill due to their opposition to the public option, so be it. At midterm elections the democrats will have the ammo to completely decimate the republican party by campaigning against every republican who voted against health care reform. In four years, there could easily be no republicans in either the House or the Senate.

    Posted by: Hamp | Oct 25, 2009 3:55:48 PM


  6. some of us have been trying to tell you since the primary that he's not a liberal, and he's definitely no friend to the gay community. How many more acts of betrayal is it going to take for those obama defenders to wake up and realize we were right all along. I imagine it will end up much like bush's presidency. After years of sky high approval ratings, in the end you couldn't wind do wingnuts who admitted they at one time supported him.

    Posted by: gch | Oct 25, 2009 4:41:35 PM


  7. i am so incredibly disappointed by Obama on so many levels

    health care reform is at the top of my list

    i can't believe this guy can't inspire people to push for public option

    what in the hell is he doing all day besides play basketball

    Posted by: Tony the Tiger | Oct 25, 2009 4:53:37 PM


  8. President O's 2012 Campaign slogan...

    "No, we're fucked!"

    Posted by: Marc | Oct 25, 2009 5:03:07 PM


  9. Obama's still playing for 2012.

    That's why he has no real position on anything and flip-flops every five minutes. He doesn't want to take responsibility for the outcome. He only wants to take credit for getting something through.

    But Pelosi will push for a robust public option. She's over 70 now and at the end of her career. Even if the Democrats retain control of the House next year, an assumption that's by no means certain, the Blue Dogs will use any substantial losses - 10 seats or more - as an excuse to replace her.

    So, for the Speaker, it really is now or never.

    Does she want to be remembered for that disasterous 800 million dollar bailout and as an enabler for corporate welfare?

    Or does she want to leave a legacy of "Medicare for all" that people might actually view positively in the coming years?

    Posted by: John | Oct 25, 2009 5:08:38 PM


  10. Excuse me, that should be billion.

    Posted by: John | Oct 25, 2009 5:13:22 PM


  11. In the Democratic primaries it became totally obvious who the true supporter of health reform was, who the real fighter was, yet democrats picked Obama because they really really really wanted an African American in office and they really really really wanted to end the wars. Well, good, I was happy he won because well, the alternative was scary and I am happy a half-white man is in office, but Obama hasn't done much and ironically, hasn't pulled the troops which must drive the ultra pacifists on the left crazy! I don't know why his supporters in the primaries are surprised.

    Posted by: GOD | Oct 25, 2009 5:37:05 PM


  12. Please remember that the Public Option that the Dems are pushing is with the OPT OUT that States can take. And all the Red States will leaving the poeple in thier states without the public option.

    I think Obama thinks that if they do the trigger it may take ywo years but the Insurance comapnies will never make it and then there will be the Public Option for all.

    Me? I think BOTH suck and wish Obama and the Dems should grow some balls and Olymnpia Snowne should get the shit smacked out of here and hopefully this will cause her to lose Maine in her re-election bid.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 25, 2009 5:59:46 PM


  13. WOW....There are some arrogant white men up in here. If Obama does anything good some of you queens will never credit him with anything.

    And as for Tony the Tigress who says "i am so incredibly disappointed by Obama on so many levels"

    I bet you're not disappointed with Clinton and Bush are you?????

    To some of you don't worry nor fret. Your white stalion is coming in 2012. Then you won't have to be so arrogant in DEMANDING shit to happen within 10 months.

    We will get halth care reform.

    Be like the poster on here named GOD he said: I am happy a half-white man is in office.

    Well GOD if you're so damn powerful end your misery and alot of other angry girls on here and bring them a WHITE MAN back in office


    IDIOT!

    Posted by: Goo Ga | Oct 25, 2009 7:19:29 PM


  14. who's surprised?

    We progresssives need to increase the pressure but Obama's kowtowing to the anti-American Repugnicans is out of control. Either he has a platform that matches his running for office rhetoric or he's nothing better than all the rest. I'm beginning to seriously question his abilities and sincerity. One cannot have it both ways.

    Posted by: ED2 | Oct 25, 2009 8:43:44 PM


  15. I am so completely pissed about this I can't see straight (no pun intended!). The ad is 100% on target - what the hell is wrong with Obama - the democrats finally have strong majorities in congress and he wants to fritter that opportunity. One thing is for damn sure, the republicans would not hesitate to screw everyone if they had half a chance. Everyone needs to ratchet up the pressure, this is fricken ridiculous!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 25, 2009 8:58:24 PM


  16. Wow. Its like some sort of dark reverse image of Fox news. That's what our culture has devolved into: cheesy ads rammed down our throats be the two extremes. I'm sick of it, because it doesn't answer my questions, it just pushes lingo. I want to know: is it possible to provide health care for people without it becoming like every single other government agency fail? SImple question, and the only people answering it straightforwardly are those who say "no." Clearly, they have an agenda, one I disagree with. But what about our side, the other side? Is it not possible to assume lots of liberal democrats are nervous about what might happen if we throw a trillion a decade of money into a government run money pit? It scares me, and I voted for Obama and campaigned for McGovern when I was a little kid.

    Posted by: Pee Town | Oct 25, 2009 9:21:07 PM


  17. In an effort to get Olympia Snowe he's going to lose 20 democrats. I really hate this man.

    Posted by: Jonathan Wallach | Oct 25, 2009 10:21:38 PM


  18. Every single government agency fails?

    That certainly isn't a quote from Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, or Ted Kennedy is it?

    Gee, thanks for the Republican talking points memo you so-called "Democratic Voter." The next time you get a stomach ache at a local restaurant, buy a defective product, and such - I expect you to stand by your principles and not complain to the government. That's just the free market working its magic. Ditto for fires, earthquakes, storms, or criminals. After all, you don't need no stinkin' government. And don't send any mail either.

    The post office is a government agency. Moreover, it is still the cheapest, most efficient mail operation in the world. And for once, it isn't just misplaced patriotism.

    Have you tried sending mail from a country overseas?

    It is expensive and - assuming it isn't stolen - takes forever.

    Posted by: John | Oct 25, 2009 10:44:47 PM


  19. Oh, and don't drive on our damn freeways.

    Those are government built roads that you clearly don't need.

    Posted by: John | Oct 25, 2009 10:50:18 PM


  20. Wolfie,

    Snowe's trigger that Obama's pushing for wouldn't kick in till 2015 -- and the bar would be high for it to kick in. That leaves republicans with 6 years to kill the thing if even those high bars would be met.

    The opt-out is much better. If states had to pass the opt-out by legislature, it would be unlikely that more than 1 or 2 states would opt out. Given that the public option is almost universally popular throughout the country -- and that should there be one or two states without it, they'll see how well it works everywhere else -- it's almost unfathonable that 100% of the country wouldn't have a strong, robust public option within a few years. And for the states that don't have it, it would only give us campaign fodder to lambast them with in state campaigns, which only helps the Democratic movement by creating better back-benches for potential recruits, and a far more energetic, active and practiced base to push from across the country.

    Posted by: Ryan | Oct 25, 2009 11:51:09 PM


  21. Like Jon Stewart said: "Oh my God! We got Olympia &%#* Snowe! Hurray Everybody! Oh wait, we don't actually need her vote. . ."
    I have a friend who is interning in DC, and she took one of her new trainees from Denmark out for cocktails one night. When told that we don't provide universal coverage for our citizens, the Danish girl was incredulous. "But . . .if your sick, you go to the doctor and they give you medicine though, right . .?", she asked. "No, my friend explained. No insurance, no doctor. You could go to the hospital if you're really ill. They can't legally turn you down, but they can take your home if you can't pay. The girl couldn't believe how ridiculous this was. They then proceeded to get really smashed, and waltzed down Capitol hill singing "I'm free, I'm free, America is free, I'm free to lose my house if I need chemo-therapy". Hope at least some of the asshats heard them.

    Posted by: dramaticartchild | Oct 26, 2009 1:43:11 AM


  22. Bitch, bitch, bitch, should have been born a woman, you just got 2 inches too much; or so my mother always used to say. We need to get healthcare done so we can move on to more important things like repealing don't ask don't tell and DOMA. When you criticize the person's attire and the like; you are not contributing to anything to the discussion. Wake up people!

    Posted by: Jeff Dunivant | Oct 26, 2009 5:24:46 AM


  23. Here's another ad that should be played:

    PUBLIC OPTION
    You want it. Your relatives want it. Your family wants it. Your neighbors want it. The majority of Americans want it.

    But President Obama is doing nothing to ensure the public option is voted in.

    Has President Obama forgotten about We The People and done a secret back door deal with the pharms, insurance industry and more?

    Call/email/write President Obama and demand the Public Option. Tell him he is so transparent that you know what's going on with his corporate deals that favor the rich and forget about you.

    While you're at it, ask him: 'hat would your mother think?

    Posted by: FunMe | Oct 26, 2009 3:30:59 PM


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