Another Obama Lie – He Never Was for Public Option

Posted on January 14, 2010


Too bad Senators Lieberman and Nelson. You took a big hit.  You stood up for a centrist approach to the Affordable Health Care Act 2009, caved to pressure and went home for the holidays.  You are men without a country. Today, the following was made known about who was really responsible for the new look and feel of the legislation.  Rahm Emanuel. And guess what: the current configuration is what the President wanted in the first place. Got it America?

Some Democratic lawmakers think the more centrist version of healthcare reform approved by the Senate is what Obama and his circle have wanted from the start.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said it would be inaccurate to say that centrists such as Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are solely responsible for the move away from many priorities favored by liberals.

“This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” Feingold said of the Senate bill last month. “I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

Feingold made his statement after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) decided to abandon the public option and a proposal to allow people over the age of 55 to buy Medicare coverage.

Democratic strategists note that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has played a central role in healthcare negotiations. On Wednesday, Emanuel spent hours in the room negotiating with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

During his tenure as a Democratic lawmaker in the House, Emanuel was known for having a more centrist policy outlook than liberals who made up much of the Democratic caucus.

Emanuel, who served as chairman of the House Democratic campaign committee and the Democratic Caucus, clashed with liberal colleagues at times by pushing for the protection of vulnerable Democrats in conservative districts. Most notably, Emanuel helped block an effort to take up comprehensive immigration reform in the House, fearing it could hurt centrist Democrats at the polls.

And in case you thought for a moment that this move toward a centrist position was not merely to get the legislation passed but to save some democratic seats in the upcoming election, you would be right. President Obama’s drop in the polls was fueled by configuration of health care that had America reeling and spinning over town hall meetings and tea.

Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, said the Senate bill could help Democrats win back independent voters who have begun deserting the party in recent polls.

“In a lot of the areas of concern to independent voters the Senate bill is just better — cost containment and the overall price tag of the bill,” he said. [Sounds as if there’s an appeal to Conservatives in here somewhere.]

A Washington Post-ABC News poll last month found that Obama’s approval rating has dropped steadily because of eroding support from political independents, especially independent male voters.

The poll found that more than six in 10 independents disapproved of his handling of healthcare.[The Hill]

So “go back to your lives, people.”  All is right with the world.  Obama wanted what you wanted from the very beginning.  Are there anymore lies we’ll have to swallow?

Here, out of his own mouth, is Obama’s stand on the public option in July, 2009.  It is unclear what has been edited from this presentation.  All that is evident are the starts and stops that indicate editing.

Here’s what the Washington Post had to say about the above video:

The president devoted this week’s radio address — which, as you can see above, is also a YouTube address — to health-care reform. Most of it you know already, but as Brian Beutler points out, Obama added some strong language to his support for a public option:

[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.

I’d guess that this marks the beginning of Obama’s efforts to rally the troops. Organizing for America — the field activism arm of Obama’s operation — is set to activate its massive army of grassroots supporters this week, and it needs to give them something to organize for. That something, for better or worse, has become the public option. And Obama has to stand squarely behind it if his supporters are going to feel comfortable going to war for it. [Washington Post]

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