Joe and I saw this coming two days ago. And unfortunately it’s looking increasingly like we were right.
A day after former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is elevated to a more senior adviser status at the White House and the DNC, Plouffe pens an op ed in the Washington Post in which he seems to suggest that much of President Obama’s promise to ban pre-existing conditions is now being jettisoned. Plouffe wrote in the op ed, which was certainly cleared with the White House, if not written by them:
Parents won’t have to worry their children will be denied coverage just because they have a preexisting condition.
Their children? The original promise – even the bad Senate bill – protects everyone, of any age, from being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Now it’s just children?
And before anyone argues that Plouffe was simply using children as an example – that the legislation could still cover everyone – look at what else happened in the last two days. CBS News reported that the pre-existing conditions promise was now looking unlikely. But even worse, the NYT talked to folks on the Hill and health policy experts, and they were told the compromise package might just protect kids under the age of 19 from being denied for pre-existing conditions. No one else.
It would sure be one hell of a coincidence if Plouffe, on behalf of the White House, is now talking about kids being protected from pre-existing conditions when the growing chatter in town is that only kids may now be protected from pre-existing conditions – that the rest of us are about to get tossed under the Martha Coakley bus.
As Joe noted the other day, the pre-existing conditions promise, for “all Americans,” was the top item on the Obama transition’s health care reform page. So, in an effort to appease the masses, they’re now considering gutting the one provision that everyone likes, the one provision that defines the legislation.