The government run option for health care is the sticking point of many in Congress as far as legislative reform goes. There are many Democrats who oppose it as well as Republicans. Seems the Senate Majority Leader has taken a cue from House Majority Leader Pelosi and decided to go it alone. Now that Democrats control virtually everything in Washington, they don't need no stinkin' Republican votes, if the Democrats fall in line.
Roll Call reports "Reid told Baucus that taxing health benefits and failing to include a strong government-run insurance option of some sort in his bill would cost 10 to 15 Democratic votes. Reid told Baucus that several in the Conference had serious concerns and that it wasn't worth securing the support of Grassley and at best a few additional Republicans."
Max Baucus, Finance Chairman (D-MT), has received some credit recently for working with Grassley as an honest partner on the verbiage of the legislation. Well, at least Reid has dropped the pretense of wanting bi-partisan legislation now. Drop dead, Republicans.
This comes at the same time as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stating, according to The Wall Street Journal, that the public option plan would require a 'trigger', which means only put into place if the private sector doesn't lower costs. The Republicans did this when the massive Medicare prescription drug benefit was put into place.
Jake Tapper of ABC News reports that Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, was surprised to learn of such a trigger proposal. He expects the legislation to go directly to the public option. And now, MoveOn was taken exception with Emanuel. They have launched a massive e-mail campaign - 3 million members - alerting them to Emanuel's proposal. They are instructed to call the White House switchboard about it.
Next, President Obama released a statement - or a minion did as he is traveling in Russia and Italy this week - proclaiming he is pleased with the progress being made in Congress and that the public plan is essential to whack the knees of the evil insurance companies. Or something along those lines. The President is enjoying the White House doublespeak and his 'adviser' is quoted by Slate's John Dickinson as saying "mission accomplished", when the talking out of both sides of his mouth was pointed out.
Well, Obama is the consummate politician, after all. Chicago style. And, MoveOn's early support of his presidential campaign was crucial to his path to the White House.
That kind of top dollar support doesn't come cheap. They expect results. Wonder if those so gullible to candidate Obama's campaign promises thought the 'change' he offered was more of the same old politics but all ramped up?