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Tide turns against public option on eve of address
The Hill ^ | September 8, 2009 | Mike Soraghan, Alexander Bolton and Sam Youngman

Posted on 09/08/2009 5:33:46 PM PDT by jazusamo

Democrats emerged from a White House meeting saying they're confident Obama's address will move healthcare reform forward

Political momentum appeared to swing sharply against the public health insurance option prized by liberals Tuesday, on the eve of President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate on Tuesday signaled they are increasingly willing to pass healthcare reform without a public insurance option, even while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) again insisted it must be included in a House healthcare bill.

Following a White House meeting with the president and Vice President Joe Biden, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave few clues on what Obama would say.

But a Democratic leadership aide who sat in on an administration briefing Tuesday said that while Obama will offer support Wednesday for a public option, the president will not insist on it.

“He’s going to say it’s the best tool for reducing costs,” the aide said. “I think he’s going to be a bit noncommittal.”

The leadership aide said Obama will use the address to move forward after a brutal recess. “He’s going to quickly turn the page on August,” the aide said.

Conservatives in August often had the president playing defense on healthcare. Obama also took flak from liberals peeved after his administration signaled a public option was not essential.

Centrist Democrats, who were skeptical about the public option in July, have hardened into outright opponents after hearing a deluge of constituent complaints. Reid, who plans to play a bigger role in the healthcare debate this fall, took a noncommittal stance on the issue Tuesday.

He delivered a speech on the Senate floor that left the need for a government-run program unmentioned. At a press conference at the White House following his and Pelosi’s meeting with Obama, Reid said the Senate would try to pass a public option “or something like a public option” but stopped far short of the impassioned plea Pelosi delivered at his side. The Speaker once again declared that healthcare reform without a public option would not pass the House.

But even Pelosi gave her self some room for compromise. Asked about an alternative proposal in which a public option would trigger if private insurers do not meet certain benchmarks, Pelosi said “right now” the House bill has a public option.Reid said he personally favored the public option, and that the Senate would try its “very best” to approve one.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday reiterated his comments from earlier this summer that he would prefer to pass healthcare reform rather than insist on a public option.

And Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead negotiator for the Blue Dog Coalition, a bloc of about 50 Democratic conservatives in the House, declared Tuesday he would oppose the public option. He said an “overwhelming number” of his constituents had told him they opposed a government-run health insurance option, “and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said it’s time for Pelosi to wake up to the growing opposition to her position.

Obama should convince “Speaker Pelosi and others that the [public option] is a distraction and it’s not the main event,” Lieberman said during a television interview on Tuesday.

Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), another centrist expected to play a pivotal role in passing health reform on the Senate floor, voiced strong doubts Tuesday about an expanded government role in healthcare.

“I just don’t think at this stage in our history, with all of the terrible national debt that we’re facing, that we should be adding another government agency to do this kind of thing,” Lieberman said.

Collins said she was opposed to a “Washington-run public option” because it “would cause many people to lose health insurance that they’re currently happy with now.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) circulated draft legislation over the weekend that does not include the public option, opting instead for the creation of membership-run health insurance cooperatives to compete with private insurance companies.

Baucus roundly rejected the notion that the lack of a public option in his proposal posed any threat to its viability. “I don’t think it endangers it at all, frankly,” he said Tuesday.

The 18-page summary of Baucus's proposal was given to members of the Finance Committee’s bipartisan “Gang of Six” negotiating team Sunday and was widely distributed around Washington by Tuesday.

After meeting with the group, Baucus said his first preference is to be able to announce a bipartisan agreement prior to Obama’s speech. Baucus instructed the Gang of Six members to present their recommendations for changes to the proposal by 10 a.m. Wednesday; the group will meet again that afternoon.

Given the waning support among centrist Democrats for the public option, Baucus’s co-op proposal may find its way into the healthcare package that Reid puts on the floor in the next few weeks.

As doubts about the public option grow, liberals urged Obama not to give up, saying that doing so would be seen as a retreat by the president.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said knowing Obama is in the corner of the public option would give it a boost. He said he is “optimistic” Obama will back it strongly on Wednesday.

At the same time, Grijalva warned that House liberals can kill a health bill without the public option. He noted that 23 centrists members have already said they oppose the bill. If all Republicans vote against the bill, 39 Democratic “no” votes would defeat it.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who has predicted 100 Democrats would oppose a healthcare bill with no public option, said the speech is likely to decide whether it is included in a bill.

“We can cobble the votes together for a public option if the president says that’s what he wants,” Weiner said. “If he gives it up, there’s no other way to interpret that than as a retreat.”

Other liberals publicly pleaded with the president not to give up.

“My hope and expectation is that he’s going to stick to the inclusion of the public option,” said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). “I think we need to do fundamental reform. I’m not sure when we’re going to get another bite at the apple.”

The insistence that a healthcare bill cannot pass the House without a public option could bolster Pelosi’s negotiating position with the White House and more skeptical Senate.

But Pelosi may have undercut liberals earlier this summer when she told reporters that there was little chance liberals would vote against a proposal that expanded health insurance to millions of Americans.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: 111th; bho44; bhohealthcare; bhospeech; democrats; jimmorean; killthebill; obama; obamacare; pelosi; publicoption; reid; socializedmedicine

1 posted on 09/08/2009 5:33:46 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

I want the same health care my public SERVANTS have!


2 posted on 09/08/2009 5:35:08 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (Thank you Mr. Robinson (toodamtall1@yahoo.com))
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To: jazusamo

Its premature to say we can breathe a little easier...so we’ll just have to hold our breath a little longer until we find out what the idiot-in-chief has to say tomorrow...

May God Be With Us All...


3 posted on 09/08/2009 5:36:18 PM PDT by Atom Smasher
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To: Atom Smasher

Amen to that. This could be a head fake by Zer0 and Co.


4 posted on 09/08/2009 5:37:58 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: bicyclerepair
I want the same health care my public SERVANTS have!

Fine. But are you ready to perform the terrific public service they do on our behalf? Jet around? Give speeches? Enact laws that are not studied or read?

5 posted on 09/08/2009 5:41:34 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: jazusamo
Pelousy is just doing it for show, to placate the looney left voterbase. Unfortunatley for ALL of us, they WILL pass some socialized medicine Bill, and it will just be expanded continuously in the future, so all the TAXPAYERS can fund the entitlements' crowd, INCLUDING non-Citizens to buy their votes.....

We are in deep crap, Amerika!

6 posted on 09/08/2009 5:41:44 PM PDT by traditional1 ("Don't gots to worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gots to buy no gas...Obama gonna take care o' me!")
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To: All

I have heard this crap before and that is all it is—CRAP. Howard Dean was on Chris Wallace last week and he was saying the Ameriocan people want this-—what a damn lie! We know the truth, they just spin and spin and spin. Loser libs.


7 posted on 09/08/2009 5:43:52 PM PDT by LegalEagle61 (If you are going to burn our flag, please make sure you are wearing it when you do!)
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To: Atom Smasher

They’re going to push their “trigger”. Just another way to get it in. There is so much in this bill that stinks that the public option shouldn’t make a bit of difference, in or out.

And what about the earmarks in this bill? My God, the country is broke. Why can’t they just stop spending?


8 posted on 09/08/2009 5:43:53 PM PDT by Kenny
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To: Kenny

I’ve no doubt if they drop the public option they’ll be a “trigger” in the bill and it’s just as bad, it’ll only put off govt health care a little longer. The bills have to be killed.


9 posted on 09/08/2009 5:48:11 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
I just heard there's a new poll out that has 83% of Americans AGAINST government-paid health insurance for illegals.

I didn't catch the name of the poll, but I did hear that number correctly. Perhaps someone can fill in the details.

10 posted on 09/08/2009 5:49:15 PM PDT by Deo volente (Obamacare: In critical condition, on life support.)
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To: jazusamo
Socialist Obama speech tomorrow will be full of stupid emotional rhetoric with very little details and he will give dozens of contradictory hints whether he wants socialized medicine aka public option or not. The democrats will give him dozens of standing ovations during the speech, the socialist media will hail it as the best speech in history of mankind, new fake polls will come saying that the public wants now socialized medicine, but few days after the speech his party will be further divided because again they still do not what socialist Obama wants to do.

PS: Not a single conservative should watch his speech tomorrow and hence deprive him from the ratings that he worships.

11 posted on 09/08/2009 5:49:43 PM PDT by jveritas (God Bless our brave troops)
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To: jazusamo

So 0bama is now officially also flipping the American Public THE BIRD!

Someone please queue up the finger pics from Zero when he’s trying to get away with “scratching” his face to FLIP OFF someone who is pressing him on his BS.


12 posted on 09/08/2009 5:50:46 PM PDT by R0CK3T
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To: jazusamo

Attention Media. Attention!
The tide has always been against the “public option”.
Only those who’s interest it is to reshape American society
are for it, and will do everything they can to ram it
down the nation’s throat.


13 posted on 09/08/2009 5:51:48 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: jazusamo
From a web pal:

Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it and whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke.

What could possibly go wrong?

14 posted on 09/08/2009 5:52:57 PM PDT by jaz.357 ("If the present tries to sit in judgment on the past, it will lose the future." W.Churchill)
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To: jveritas

I’d bet money you’re right, jv and I for one am not watching it.


15 posted on 09/08/2009 5:53:36 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Fester Chugabrew

Fine. But are you ready to perform the terrific public service they do on our behalf? Jet around? Give speeches? Enact laws that are not studied or read?

I might be willing to junket once in a while...
as long as I didn’t have to really do anything,
and a freezer full of cash would be nice.


16 posted on 09/08/2009 5:54:51 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: jazusamo
Right-leaning blogs need to pump up expectations before the speech.

"we've heard rumors this speech is the best ever written for Obama"..."a barnburner"...."mezmerizing"..."this will seize back the momentum", etc.

Start early and parrot this line on the morning shows, and build it up until mainstream media picks it up. Build expectations for this speech to the sky.

17 posted on 09/08/2009 5:55:26 PM PDT by montag813
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To: jazusamo
I cannot sit for 10 seconds to even hear ObaMao’s voice. I quickly hit the mute, change the channel, or go to a noncommercial infested movie for peace and tranquility.

Just the sight or the sound of this Marxist drives me PSYCHO.

18 posted on 09/08/2009 5:58:26 PM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (Give me LIBERTY or give me an M-24A2!)
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To: jazusamo
Excellent my FRiend, I have not watched TV news since November 5 2008, all TV news including Fox News.
19 posted on 09/08/2009 5:58:47 PM PDT by jveritas (God Bless our brave troops)
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To: Deo volente

“I just heard there’s a new poll out that has 83% of Americans AGAINST government-paid health insurance for illegals. I didn’t catch the name of the poll, but I did hear that number correctly. Perhaps someone can fill in the details.”

Rasmussen.

You can link it at www.alipac.us


20 posted on 09/08/2009 6:04:31 PM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: Fester Chugabrew

Figuring out how to side-step the constitution is hard work.


21 posted on 09/08/2009 6:08:55 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: bicyclerepair

Agreed. If I can’t have that why should they? Especially on my dime.


22 posted on 09/08/2009 6:10:53 PM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Cyber Liberty

Sure, but it pays!


23 posted on 09/08/2009 6:10:58 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: jveritas

Yes, the one will vote present again.


24 posted on 09/08/2009 6:17:51 PM PDT by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: jazusamo
We can expect the MSM to be on their collective knees all day Wednesday awaiting talking points. As if they ever had an original thought that did not originate in the DNC or some other extremist group. The MSM are supposed to be the public watchdogs against just the agenda that this Administration is forcing upon the American citizens. What they do not realize is that after Obama and the Democrats turn this country into a Socialist paradise they will come for MSM, by that time it will be too late.
25 posted on 09/08/2009 6:25:27 PM PDT by reader25
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP

“I cannot sit for 10 seconds to even hear ObaMao’s voice.”

Just the sheer thought of that sickening cadence of his sends me straight to the Maalox.


26 posted on 09/08/2009 6:31:12 PM PDT by TxAnn56
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To: jazusamo

Amen to that. This could be a head fake by Zer0 and Co.

#########

My thoughts as well...


27 posted on 09/08/2009 6:44:39 PM PDT by Atom Smasher
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To: jazusamo; Kenny

There’ll quite possibly be a trigger, so this is what needs to be done - in 2010 we vote in new people to fill the seats & vote every stinkin piece of vermin out. Then the new people begin impeachment proceedings, immediately. Then re-write the bill...?

In my dreams eh?


28 posted on 09/08/2009 6:49:15 PM PDT by Atom Smasher
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To: Atom Smasher
In my dreams eh?

I'm afraid it might be. Maybe I'm just entering the depressive phase of my manic/depressive disorder but it seems like the public energy and fight has already diminished since the Third Reich has returned to Washington from recess. I hope I'm wrong. I really think we can beat it if we stay together and keep our spirits up. But, it might be a long hard battle.

29 posted on 09/08/2009 6:54:34 PM PDT by Kenny
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To: jazusamo
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead negotiator for the Blue Dog Coalition, a bloc of about 50 Democratic conservatives in the House, declared Tuesday he would oppose the public option. He said an “overwhelming number” of his constituents had told him they opposed a government-run health insurance option, “and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well.”

If he votes for the health-care bill PERIOD he is going to be facing his toughest reelection EVER!

We still haven't forgotten about those 'FREE' trips to 'study' global warming WE PAID FOR (& he took his wife).

30 posted on 09/08/2009 6:59:11 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: jazusamo

Authors of this piece must have missed Obama’s speech to AFL/CIO the other day.


31 posted on 09/08/2009 7:06:17 PM PDT by Kimberly GG
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To: kcvl

Exactly. My Rep, Brian Baird has taken those vacations (Antarctica) on our dime also, he’s no Blue Dog, he’s a lib and we’d sure like to give him his walking papers.


32 posted on 09/08/2009 7:12:35 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: LegalEagle61
Howard Dean was on Chris Wallace last week and he was saying the American people want this-

Juan Williams was on O'Reilly tonight saying the same thing! They truly are insane!

33 posted on 09/08/2009 7:28:57 PM PDT by top 2 toe red (O-B-A-M-A = One Big Ass Mistake, America.)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
Just the sight or the sound of this Marxist drives me PSYCHO.

You & me both!!! I want to puke anytime I see or hear that sonovabeeotch 0bozo!!! He is a socialist-fascist-commie pig usurper!!!

34 posted on 09/08/2009 7:58:02 PM PDT by rcrngroup
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To: jazusamo
So, let's assume they cave on the Public Option (very likely).

The only way to then extend insurance to the "un-insured" is to make health insurance compulsory.

Does anyone REALLY believe that'll fly? Buy health insurance (if you have the means), or we'll FINE you $3800/yr!

How many in the House and Senate will sign up for THAT?

This has spun out of control...with sooo many on the left hurt and betrayed that I believe nothing will actually pass.

That is, UNLESS they get a dozen GOP House members and 5 GOP Senators.

35 posted on 09/08/2009 8:51:52 PM PDT by Mariner
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To: Mariner

You just may be right and I truly hope you are.

I don’t see that many GOP in the House or Senate going over, in fact there’s been some speculation Snowe may not even go for it but I’ll believe that when I see it.

This health care has to be killed now and start over with sane people if they can come up with some.


36 posted on 09/08/2009 9:00:09 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

They’re on their heels. Beat the living crap out of them!!!


37 posted on 09/08/2009 9:15:58 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (0bummer uses George Orwell's book "1984" as a "How To" guide.)
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To: jazusamo

It’s a head fake! They will put in a trigger for a public option and then in the next year they will add provisions to make it happen. No all of the bills need to die a rapid death the reform can be done in 3 or 4 pages.


38 posted on 09/08/2009 9:24:48 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: Kenny

It WILL be hard, it will be LONG and it will be a BATTLE. But, consider the alternative and then focus on what needs to be done...NOTHING HARD COMES EASY. UNITED WE STAND..DIVIDED WE FALL. TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN.


39 posted on 09/08/2009 9:43:17 PM PDT by itssme
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To: jazusamo

“My hope and expectation is that he’s going to stick to the inclusion of the public option,” said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). “I think we need to do fundamental reform. I’m not sure when we’re going to get another bite at the apple.”

They KNOW this is going to kill them, but they don’t care.


40 posted on 09/09/2009 8:06:34 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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