I started posting on HowieinSeattle in 11/04, following progressive American politics in the spirit of Howard Dean's effort to "Take Our Country Back." I decided to follow my heart and posted on seattleforbarackobama from 2/07 to 11/08.--"Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle."--Michael Hood.
The "public option" is dead, but birth has been given to the "co-op" by Senator Kent Conrad.
The public option has flat-lined. As for the legislative outlook for health reform, the Senate will approve a bill without the public option. The current House version includes the public option, but I'm not so sure the Blue Dogs will want to walk the plank and vote on a provision that won't become law.
Thomas J. Whalen:
The public option appears deader than the pennant chances of the Kansas City Royals. Nonprofit cooperatives will now take center stage in the health care debate and from the White House's perspective, this may not be such a bad thing.
Sen. Kent Conrad:
In the Senate, the cooperative plan is the only one that has the prospect of getting 60 votes.
"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been," he said. "So to continue to chase that rabbit I think is just a wasted effort."
One more Conrad, just because I don't like the guy:
"It is very clear that in the United States Senate, the public option does not have the votes," he said. "If we have to get to 60 votes, you cannot get there with public option. That's why I was asked to come up with an alternative."
Of course he’s not going to include a public option — as DC’s beltway class well knows, it’s been gone for a long time.
Rahm and the Baucus Caucus dealt the public option away months ago in order to keep stakeholders at the negotiating tables, and from filling the coffers of Republicans in 2010.
"I think the president has a real opportunity to fundamentally change the tone of his administration," Gingrich tells NRO. But, he says, "I think it takes deeper change than simply yes or no on the public option. Frankly, if he does come out against a public option — given what the Left and the ACLU have said — it would be a very significant moment, and we should not understate how significant that would be."
Is the public option really dead? Probably.
Perhaps the better question is whether the public option was ever really 'alive', meaning that it ever had enough votes to pass both the House and the Senate.
It is dead. Never had a chance. Yet, debate over the public option will continue.
Steve Steckler: The public option was like a cheap tattoo on the bride in an arranged marriage, betraying a questionable past (Medicare cost history) and an ominous future (budget-driven service constraints) for what was supposed to be love at first sight.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson:
President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a parade of House and Senate Democrats should get academy awards for their play act on the public heath care option. It's as dead as a doornail.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich:
"It’s my opinion that the blue dogs are doing exactly what the white house wants them to do. The public option was a trial balloon. I can not stress how cynical and brutal the politics are. This is not about the public option. Anyone looking for the public option needs to look someplace else. It is not going to happen and anybody who says it is is in fantasy land."
Well, the public option... it will still keep growing for a few days, but it's dead. It's not going to happen.
I think it's pretty dead, Campbell. I think it's safe to say that right now it looks like it's a goner.
Fmr. Sen. Tom Daschle
It's probably on life support. It'll go to the Senate floor. There, they will have other votes. There may be other dynamics. There's another amendment on a public option that probably has a lot more possibility, and that is the so-called Snow amendment, which is a trigger for a public option over the course of several years.
The big federal insurance apparatus isn't going to happen.
The wascally wabbit is dead. It doesn't have a chance.
I think what this signaled this weekend is that the public option is dead. It's not coming back.
Well, but the public plan was never going to be on the table.
And real gem from none other than Tweety:
OK. Let's take a look at the bottom line. We asked The Matthews Meter, 12 of our regulars, do the Democratic leaders who are pushing the public option now really deep down know that it's dead, that it can't be part of a solution that gets 60 votes, 218 in the House?
Sen. Lindsey Graham:
Appearing on FOX News Sunday this morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that a health reform bill in the House "is dead" and that "we should just throw it in the garbage can."
The public option in health care is dead. So go buy the health care stocks. But what else does President Obama have up his sleeve?
Snowe's support in committee virtually ensures that the public option won't wind up in the final bill as she is on the record opposing such a move and it's hard to see the White House giving up her support after they won it once.
The real "public option" is to scrap the current grandiose plans and to start over. There is no health care crisis, and doing no harm is far preferable to doing real damage to a good health care system.
There's, first of all, the people who still want the public option. I think they've unconsciously capitulated; they don't realize it yet.
I — Nancy Pelosi firmly believes that when the moment comes, she can gather her caucus together, tell them that she fought harder for the public option than Barack Obama did, than Harry Reid did, than any senator did. No one fought harder for it than Nancy Pelosi, and she is now telling her troops they’re going to have to go forward without it. That moment is going to come.
If there is anything that's been made clear over the last two weeks, it is that the public option is a political non-starter that threatens the entire reform effort. It's time to let it go.
Wolf, I think it's now clear that a robust public option, the type supported and proposed by Senator Rockefeller today, is dead. They simply do not have the votes.
"I wish we could have a public option, but I'm also a realist."
President Barack Obama:
"I absolutely do not believe that it’s dead," Obama told Univision. "I think that it’s something that we can still include as part of a comprehensive reform effort."