Duncan Black is 100% right. The White House has lead on health care reform to the place where they want to see the legislation being. That place does not include a public health insurance option because the White House does not want there to be one. They are not currently trying to get one and its absence from their proposal almost certainly assures that there will not be one. Duncan writes:
The White House released their health plan. It didn’t contain a public option. Their health plan didn’t have to be the final say, it could just be a negotiating document, but they didn’t even bother to put it in, to pretend they wanted it. Contra Ezra, they did lead, they expressed their preferences. They may or may not publicly beat back a public option if it shows any chance of being revived in the Senate, but they have made their desires known.
There isn’t just a lack of leadership for key progressive pieces from the White House in health care reform. It’s that they are actively support alternative positions to progressive reform, most clearly on the public option. This is most directly attributable to the fact that the White House does not want the same things the progressive activist base want.
One thought on “They Do What They Want”
This is political suicide. A Democratic sponsored law that mandates the purchase of health insurance from the profit bloated insurance companies will drive independent voters into the arms of the Republicans and the party activists into caves and bars. Without a public option or some other alternative (like massive expassion of Medicare), this is a recipe for a one term president and the rescue of the Republican party from its well-earned oblivion.