Daschle: Public Option ‘Taken Off The Table’ In July Due To ‘Understanding People Had w/ Hospitals'
Source: Think Progress
Daschle: Public Option ‘Taken Off The Table’ In July Due To ‘Understanding People Had With Hospitals’
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD)’s new book Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate To Make Way for Health Care Reform comes out next week, but this morning he spoke to me about some of the concessions the administration made to pass reform and the shortcomings in the Affordable Care Act.
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. I asked Daschle if the White House had taken the option off the table in July 2009 and if all future efforts to resuscitate the provision were destined to fail:
DASCHLE: I don’t think it was taken off the table completely. It was taken off the table as a result of the understanding that people had with the hospital association, with the insurance (AHIP), and others. I mean I think that part of the whole effort was based on a premise. That premise was, you had to have the stakeholders in the room and at the table. Lessons learned in past efforts is that without the stakeholders’ active support rather than active opposition, it’s almost impossible to get this job done. They wanted to keep those stakeholders in the room and this was the price some thought they had to pay. Now, it’s debatable about whether all of these assertions and promises are accurate, but that was the calculation. I think there is probably a good deal of truth to it. You look at past efforts and the doctors and the hospitals, and the insurance companies all opposed health care reform. This time, in various degrees of enthusiasm, they supported it. And if I had to point out some of the key differences between then and now, it would be the most important examples of the difference.
Despite being “taken off the table” as a result of the “understanding,” the White House continued to publicly deny claims that it was backing away from the provision even as it tried to focus on other aspects of the bill. “Nothing has changed,” said Linda Douglass, then communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform in August of 2009 and many times thereafter.
Edited on Tue Oct-05-10 04:00 PM by Hell Hath No Fury
things like the PO and reimportation of drugs were put out there for an election win but with the full knowledge they were simply bargaining chiops to be used against the insurance industry when the time came.
This is what we always "knew", but to have it in black and white....very very...what's the words I am looking for? Anger inducing and enthusiasm reducing.
Congress is owned lock, stock, & barrel by lobbyists. Same with the presidency, if is a true account. And the Supreme Court? Roberts has a huge hard-on for judgments favoring corporations over the people.
The ultra-rich and the mega-corps have seized control. Nothing left but a long slow slide into 3rd world status. Game over, unless somehow a Constitutional Convention is called to add public election financing and non-corporate-personhood amendments. Then that would somehow have to be passed thru the states, most of which are just as bad as the feds, corruption-wise.
It shows why Obama would Never have had the skill or guts to enact the Clean Air Act. He is Far, Far to wholly owned and controlled by corporate lobbyists to ever do anything that serious and groundbreaking. :grr:
"In describing some of the challenges to passage of the public option in the health reform bill, I did not mean to suggest in any way that the President was not committed to it," Daschle emails. "The President fought for the public option just as he did for affordable health care for all Americans. The public option was dropped only when it was no longer viable in Congress, not as a result of any deal cut by the White House. While I was disappointed that the public option was not included in the final legislation, the Affordable Care Act remains a tremendous achievement for the President and the nation."
17. Sorry, cat's out of the bag- and this simply corroborates the administration's actions
Edited on Tue Oct-05-10 07:25 PM by depakid
down the line, which seemed inexplicable to many of us who'd been paying attention at the time.
Obama wasn't just being timid in this case- he'd assented to a backroom deal with the hospital and insurance lobby early on in the process (rather than standing up and fighting them).
This also explains the "they're not bad people" comment, and the refusal to paint these corporations as the ugly (and often deadly) parasites that they are- despite having tens of thousands of horror stories at his disposal.
"Daschle has been married to Linda Hall, Miss Kansas for 1976, since 1984, one year after his marriage to his first wife, Laurie, ended in divorce.<8> Hall was acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in the Clinton administration; she is now a Washington lobbyist. Her lobbying clients have included American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, Senate lobbying records show.<9><10>"
"A mixed voting record on abortion-related issues led the pro-choice organization NARAL to give Daschle a 50 percent vote rating.<19> In 1999 and 2003, Daschle voted in favor of the ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion",<20><21> and supported legislation making it a crime to harm a fetus when someone attacks a pregnant woman.<22> (Investigators into the 2001 anthrax attacks, which included Senator Daschle's Capitol Hill office, suspect that alleged anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins may have chosen to target Daschle over his views on abortion, although Ivins's lawyer disputed this alleged motive.<23>)"
"Following his election defeat, Daschle took a position with the lobbying arm of the K Street law firm Alston & Bird. Because he was prohibited by law from lobbying for one year after leaving the Senate,<27> he instead worked as a "special policy adviser" for the firm.<28><29>"
"During the 2008 presidential campaign, Daschle served as a key advisor to Obama and one of the national co-chairs for Obama's campaign.<36> On June 3, 2008, Obama lost to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in Daschle's home state of South Dakota, although that night Obama clinched his party's nomination anyway.
Two days later, sources indicated Daschle "is interested in universal health care and might relish serving as HHS secretary."<37>"
Alston & Bird's health care lobbying clients include CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth.<9> The firm was paid $5.8 million between January and September 2008 to represent companies and associations before Congress and the executive branch, with 60 percent of that money coming from the health industry.<10> Daschle was recruited by the former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.<30> Daschle's salary from Alston & Bird for the year 2008 was reportedly $2 million.<31>"
"Daschle was also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. In addition, he served as National Co-Chair of ONE Vote ‘08 (an initiative of ONE.org), along with former Senator Bill Frist. He and former Senators George Mitchell, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker formed the Bipartisan Policy Center, dedicated to finding bipartisan solutions for policy disputes.<7>"
"In an appearance on Meet the Press on February 12, 2006, former Senator Daschle endorsed a controversial warrantless surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA); Daschle explained that he had been briefed on the program while he was the Democratic leader in the Senate"
"On January 30, 2009, it was reported that Daschle's friendship and business partnership with businessman Leo Hindery could cause problems for Daschle's Senate confirmation. Daschle has been a paid consultant and advisor to Hindery's InterMedia Partners since 2005, during which time he received from Hindery access to a limousine and chauffeur. Daschle reportedly did not declare this service on his annual tax forms as required by law. A spokeswoman for Daschle said that he "simply and probably naively" considered the use of the car and driver "a generous offer" from Hindery, "a longtime friend".<31><41><43><44> Daschle told the Senate Finance Committee that in June 2008—just as he was letting the press know he would like to be HHS secretary in an Obama administration<37> -- that "something made him think that the car service might be taxable" and he began seeking to remedy the situation.<45>
Daschle reportedly also did not pay taxes on an additional $83,333 that he earned as a consultant to InterMedia Partners in 2007; this was discovered by Senator Daschle's accountant in December 2008.<45> According to ABC News, Daschle also took tax deductions for $14,963 in donations that he made between 2005 and 2007 to charitable organizations that did not meet the requirements for being tax deductible.<46>
The former Senator paid the three years of owed taxes and interest—an amount totaling $140,167—in January 2009,<43><44><45><47> but still reportedly owed "Medicare taxes equal to 2.9 percent" of the value of the car service he received, amounting to "thousands of dollars in additional unpaid taxes".<48>"
50. I was in a mood when I wrote that. First of all I despise Daschle for kneeling before his King
George and backing the IWAR. And third I know that the health care bill is more than shit. But I believe we could have come closer to a public option if Pres Obama would have publicly backed it. I think it would have helped in the HOR. The Senate is totally corrupt.
I tend to vent here because I am totally frustrated. I cant see us climbing out of this hole the Republicans dug, especially at the current snails pace. The public wants DADT ended yet a Democratic Congress and President cant do it. The president could refuse to prosecute.
59. A public option was in the House bill. The Senate wouldn't pass it.
Edited on Wed Oct-06-10 06:53 PM by SusanaMontana41
Now we know why. Actually, the information was out there. A documentary on PBS confirmed the backroom deals Obama had with Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the Senate Finance Committee, which my beloved Sen. Baucus chairs.
23. First, re-importation of drugs was given away in "secret" meetings.
Now, we find that the Public Option was traded away too...also in secret meetings while 70% of the American citizens were BEGGING for this crumb. The Kabuki Theater was well choreographed. The insiders must have had a good laugh at that.
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