Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hey Obama, We Want the Public Option

Jane Hamsher: Obama must retain a 'public option' for healthcare reform or he risks a massive backlash from the Democratic grassroots. When Barack Obama speaks before Congress on healthcare tonight, he'll either mention a public option or he won't. The calculus involved in making that decision will have nothing to do the politics of healthcare – sadly, the public option was an early casualty in the battle for control of K Street lobbying money. As far as the administration is concerned, it's just a matter of who breaks the bad news to grandma.

The neoliberal White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the architect of Nafta, auctioned off most everything of value in a healthcare reform package long ago. Hospital profits, doctors' profits, pharmaceutical profits, insurance company profits, all guaranteed to go up, up, up for the next decade – so long as their lobbying money stayed in Democratic coffers.