With the scrapping of the public plan
looking more likely
, proponents and opponents alike are deducing how this central component of Obama's health care reform got pushed out.
Dems Got Weak
Rachel Maddow went after
two prominent Democrats, Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman
Max Baucus, who has been key to the process, for their reversal. "So,
if Max Baucus was in favor of a public option and
President Obama was in favor of a public option, and a public option
survived through three House committees and one Senate committee that
on health care reform so far, why is the public option dying now?" she
dying because of a collapse of political ambition. The Democrats are
too scared of their own shadow to use the majority the
American people elected them to in November to actually pass something
said they favored."
Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, appearing
on Maddow's show (video above), accused Obama of planning this
"dog-and-pony show" all along to appease insurance companies. "They
bargained away a single-payer from the very start," he said. "This
was really a handshake deal between the White House and the
insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Basically there was a quid pro quo. We're going to take single-payer off the table at the very
start. You promise not to hammer us the way you hammered Bill Clinton
when he tried to push through health care reform."
Stuck Between Left and Center
"Obama is trapped," wrote
Continetti of the Weekly Standard. He argued that Obama has been
hurtling towards a "conundrum" like this since the campaign, which he
won by making big and contradictory promises to liberals as well as
moderates. "He needs both the left and the center to pass his
bill, but satisfying one side endangers his relationship with the
Folly of Bipartisanship
Keith Olbermann and Newsweek's Howard Fineman condemned
"appeasement" of Republicans, saying that the White House allowed
itself to be led towards dropping the public option. "I think the
more that the president tries to give away in the name of trying to
bipartisanship, the more recalcitrant the Republicans will become
smell blood at this point," Fineman said. Olbermann, quoting Donald
Rumsfeld of all people, said, "Appease the wrong people and have you to
be intellectually or morally confused to do so"
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