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Just when you thought Obama may have to leave the Chicago Olympics and take a position in healthcare reform, the finance committee came up with a weasely public option:

It would be available to people with incomes above Medicaid eligibility but below 200 percent of the federal poverty level — a very narrow window

The plan would not be free. It is based on Washington state’s Basic Health plan, which costs roughly 60 dollars a month, with the remainder of the premium subsidized by the state.

It is so watered down, it’s barely an option and very little public. What became apparent after the original write-up was that the model for this bait and switch, it’s at present frozen, dead in the water

when you go the plan’s website, you’re greeted with this: “To stay within the appropriated budget, Basic Health is no longer processing incoming applications to determine eligibility and has officially implemented a waiting list

Oh, by all means, find something broken and emulate it. The amount of deceit is staggering the mind!

This too would be a state plan with federal grants, where the states have the option

to set up their plans, which would negotiate with medical providers on payment rates rather than base them on Medicare’s fees, as other public option plans would do.

But, as Reid equivocated

“Remember, a public option is a relative term,” Reid said. “There’s a public option, there’s a public option, and there’s a public option. And we’re going to look at each of them.”

And after looking, they picked a big turd, stuck the label “public option” on it and served it to us. After all, it’s all relative.

And yet, it’s sold by Huffpo as it’s really worth fighting for – or against

However, Republicans fear — and progressives hope — that once the plan becomes law there will be pressure to expand it.

Oh, sure, everyone will want more turd.

What a waste of political opportunity!

Update Turns out that after all the confidence public option advocates had in Obama, he certainly didn’t interfere in its favor before the shutting down of the 2 amendments

The lack of political pressure from President Barack Obama and his lieutenants is the latest indication of the White House’s lagging interest in passing healthcare reform that calls for a large government role.

in spite of the fact that as a rule

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have not been shy in calling members to vote for controversial legislation. Both men personally appealed to many members to vote for the economic stimulus package as well as the climate change bill that cleared the House earlier this year.

I guess they are not that much into the public option, supporters’ delusions notwithstanding.

Not Your Sweetie

October 2009