The Blog

A Bad Day for the 'Public' Option

2:40 PM, Sep 8, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Via Jim Geraghty on Twitter: "Politico's Jim Vandehei on CNN: 'There's not going to be a public option in this bill.' Says White House tells him OTR they know it."

Blue Dog Mike Ross of Arkansas comes out against a public option, in a move that may embolden other Blue Dogs:

"I have been skeptical about the public health insurance option from the beginning and used August to get feedback from you, my constituents," he wrote in a statement his office released publicly. "An overwhelming number of you oppose a government-run health insurance option, and it is your feedback that has led me to oppose the public option as well."


It has come to this.
Lieberman dubs the cherished liberal "public" option a "distraction," using the Obama campaign's own language of opponent marginalization to urge him to marginalize Pelosi and the Progressive Caucus:

President Obama should convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and congressional Democrats that the public option is a "distraction" in the healthcare reform debate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) urged Tuesday.

"I hope the president, before tomorrow night and after, can convince Speaker Pelosi and others that this is a distraction and it's not the main event," Lieberman said during an interview on MSNBC.

Rep. Steny Hoyer "reaffirmed his position that a health care overhaul doesn't need to include a public insurance option to pass the House."

Via Chuck Todd's Twitter: "House Maj Whip Jim Clyburn just endorsed the "trigger" for public option on MSNBC says u may not have "robust" public option at 1st."

The "trigger" is likely the next tack for the "public" option's cheerleaders. At today's press briefing, Gibbs paid lip service to the "public" option as a "very valuable tool," but danced around the question about liberal anger about the president's increasingly tepid support for it.