Via Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo, I really like the stand President Obama made this weekend on including the public option in healthcare reform legislation.
[A]ny plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family.
This is key. It goes without saying that the GOP efforts (under partnership with conservative Democrats in the House and Senate) to weaken reform includes not only stripping out the public option, but preventing key measures that would ensure affordability, and thus feasability of reform, from being included in the legislation must also be stopped. The public option is a huge piece of it and the one that has certainly received the most attention in public discourse, but it’s presence in the bill is not both necessary and sufficient for the bill to be successful.
Nonetheless, it’s good to see President Obama taking a firm stand at a time where anti-reformers seem to be gaining momentum to block progress as we near fruition.