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The public option's fate was pre-determined by a deal with the for-profit hospital industry.

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t0dd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 11:24 PM
Original message
The public option's fate was pre-determined by a deal with the for-profit hospital industry.
Edited on Fri Mar-12-10 11:39 PM by t0dd
Beyond its cost savings and popularity, the public option has come to represent something more: the lasting symbol of real health care reform. Of all the components, it remains the most sought after. Poll after poll has shown Americans overwhelmingly support it. It is the change they expected when they elected a wave of Democrats in the previous years. And during Obama's campaign, there was every indication we were heading in a direction where the well-being of people would be put ahead of profits.

However, from the beginning, the public option was hindered by intense lobbying and false advertising from corrupt politicians that repeatedly tried to dismantle and obliterate it. We spent an entire year saying it could never come to pass because the "60" vote threshold wasn't there in the Senate, and even though we intend to pass health care via reconciliation now, the votes still are not there. That's why the public option is simultaneously the symbol of ultimate betrayal from Congressional Democrats: they've finally made it clear who they really represent; they've finally made it clear the interests of powerful corporations and lobbyists trumps the interests of voters.

But even in these final moments of this long legislative journey, with 12 knives in its back, the public option defies all odds and rises from the ashes to draw its final breath. Whip counts show the votes are there for one (and this minus any pressure from leadership for one to be included). That is why right now, they're doing everything they can to avoid an up or down vote on it.

Let's look at the facts:

In the Senate, over 40 Senators have already indicated they support a public option via reconciliation. Over 50 have supported the public option in the past, and Dick Durbin has said he would aggressively whip for it. The votes are there. (Whip Count)

The House already passed a bill with a public option (albeit a very weak one). The votes are there as well.

So why, in these last minutes, despite the votes being there in both chambers, is the public option being dealt its final blow?

Because its been Kabuki theater from the beginning, and they're avoiding a vote (or even mention of it!) to protect a deal the Obama administration made with the for-profit hospital industry.

He made a deal with the Federation of American Hospitals that the final health care bill would not include that meddlesome public option:

"Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying-Medicare rates...or controlled by the secretary of health and human services. 'We have an agreement with the White House that I'm very confident will be seen all the way through conference', one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter...Industry lobbyists say they are not worried about a public option. 'We trust the White House,' Mr. Kahn said." Source: NY Times


It's deals like this that truly gutted reform. Let's not forget Obama's deal with the pharmaceutical industry. There is overwhelming evidence of this:

If a package passes Congress, the pharmaceutical industry has pledged $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for it. For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend.

Much of the bargaining took place in July at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room, just off the Oval Office, a person familiar with the discussions said. In attendance were Tauzin, several industry chief executives -- including those from Abbott Laboratories, Merck and Pfizer -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and White House aides.

Sources:
LA Times, NY Times



And if you're skeptical of these deals, ask yourself this: why would Obama downplay the significance of the public option? why would he never fight publicly for what his liberal base longed for? It's only a "sliver of reform"? It was the heart and soul of reform!

Single payer never had a chance. It was never even on the table. But the abandonment of the public option is disgraceful. Without it, the Senate bill, that the House will pass next week, will only strengthen the immoral health insurance industry and permanently enshrine the power of untouchable corporations over the freedoms of the individual. Congressman Kucinich put it best: "We build our hopes on the insurance companies and all we'll have is more poverty in this country."

Our President deserves criticism for these despicable deals, and those of you that unquestionably support him should look in the mirror and decide which is more important to you: progressive principles or senseless adherence to a Party and President that refuse to listen to you.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. This has Rahm's dirty little fingers all over it. No P.O., no bill. The bill is worthless. (nt)
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
well said
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coti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Obama not only deserves criticism for this, he deserves to be primaried
for it.

This is a bigger mistake than Iraq was. In the long run, it will cost many times more American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars more than Iraq did. Worst of all, it doesn't put us any closer to solving our problems, only further. This bill is only going to make it that much harder, with their newfound billions of tax dollars, to extricate the private insurance companies from our healthcare system.

For his "Third Way," corporo-tyrannical bullshit politics, Obama is totally screwing our country over.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Only 32% of all Americans consider themselves Dems, some 28%
consider themselves Repugs, and the huge majority is the 40% who consider themselves just looking for honest and trustworthy candidates who will free us from the Corporate controlled madness now running this nation into the ground.

At some point in my lifetime I hope to see a progressive, third party person occupying the WH.

The only industrialized nations that have a decent standard of living for their citizenry,without the endless wars for profits - those nations all have more than two parties.
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t0dd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Dems are pretty worthless. A third party that puts ordinary
people ahead of corporations would be my ideal too.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. "Bigger than Iraq??"
WTF - you people blaming him for the invasion, now?

:hurts:
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coti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. No. I'm saying that Obama is making a bigger mistake than that imbecile Bush II did. nt
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Ah. Nearly cogent at last.
Bogus posit, but credit for being nearly cogent.
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IRemember Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. yep
:kick:
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 01:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'd like to know exactly WHAT was given in return for this betrayal, and to WHOM.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. It may've been a protection racket: do this or we collapse our sector.
I am sure the ones doing the bargaining all have golden parachutes.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
8. Bookmarked.
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
12. we've been sold down the river.
Edited on Sat Mar-13-10 12:28 PM by branders seine
hoping for change?

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :think: :puke:
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Public Option was took out in August 2009 by the White House and Sen. Baucus
Damn. It right there in black and white in the NYT:

"Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates generally 80 percent of private sector rates or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

We have an agreement with the White House that Im very confident will be seen all the way through conference, one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter. "


Good catch, t0dd.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. kick
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R....And Congress's job is to FIX this BEFORE PASSAGE, NOT to take a dive.


:hi:



:kick:



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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. K & R
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