Public option “Just one small part” of reform, but it’s “the best way to offer choice and hold down costs”




Greg Sargent was provided the talking points from the Obama operation on the status of health insurance reform. With Greg’s post, we see the current dissonance coming from the Obama messaging. First, from the talking points:

The public option is just one small part of health insurance reform.

Okay. But, then Greg got a quote from an Obama for America spokesperson:

Asked for comment, an OFA spokesperson said: “The President still believes that a public option is the best way to offer choice and hold down costs, as he’s said throughout the process.”

Yes, he said that throughout the process. So here’s the question? If the public option is “the best way to offer choice and hold down costs,” how can it be just one small part of reform? Isn’t offering choice and holding down costs central to health insurance reform? I’m confused. And, I don’t want to confused.

The Senate Finance Committee bill should have included a public option. That Baucus didn’t include it sent a powerful signal — a bad signal. If Obama really wants a public option, he needs to work for it — and stop sending mixed messages. But, that’s apparently a big “if.”


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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