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Public Option Debate Moves to Forefront

By Ben Pershing
Congress will bear down this week on two of the most vexing issues in the health-care debate -- how to pay for the reform plan, and whether it should include a public insurance option -- as well as side skirmishes on topics like abortion and drug reimportation.

The Senate Finance Committee's ongoing markup pits Democrats against each other, and outside groups are also participating in intraparty warfare: The Progressive Campaign Change Committee and Democracy for America are airing an ad in D.C. and Montana accusing Max Baucus of being on the side of insurance companies. Baucus has to navigate the bill through three different factions of Senate Democrats, Kaiser Health News writes.

No one expects the Finance Committee's final bill to include the public option, but supporters argue that the very fact the panel will draw attention to the topic by debating it this week will give the cause a boost before they try again on the Senate floor. After the New York Times stated as fact Monday that the combined Senate bill would not include the public option, Harry Reid's office made a point of pushing back to say no decisions had been made yet on what would be in the bill. Seeking to reassure fellow liberals, Jonathan Cohn looks abroad to the example of the Netherlands, which "has managed to build a popular and successful universal health care program based entirely on private insurance."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  September 29, 2009; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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Comments

Yes! Yes! Please come up with the public option. I was just informed that next year my deductible will be $500.00 unstead of the normal $250.00 and I will have less coverage, also of course the premium will be about $54.00 a month higher. I can't wait to get rid of these scum-bags. Come on voters don't listen to the republicans who have been and want to continue to get their pockets lined while we suffer.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | September 29, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That's right, slow and steady all the way up to 2010 and the end of this nonsense when many of these cretins will find they are out of office.

Message to Congress and the Senate. Fix the economy and jobs stupids. You are fiddling while Rome burns. No to health care reform, no to cap and trade, no to amnesty for illegal aliens. Enough is enough. The debt created by the government is going to kill this Country. We need fiscally responsible representatives to restore the economy, not more bloated spending on entitlement programs.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

DAMNEDGENTLEMEN: Did grade school get out early in your area? You seem fixated on Wal-Mart. Is it Wal-Mart envy? If there was a cogent thought in your ramblings a response could be formulated. Step away from the crack pipe or take your medication, whichever applies in your case.

Obama is a one term President. He will be lucky to make it to 2012 without being run out of office. He is incompetent and each day makes it more clear to a growing number of citizens.

The public option is dead. If the Spendocrats try and ram this through it will be their demise. Let's see what happens in the governor races in Virginia and New Jersey. It will give you an idea of where many of these idiots that did not read the massive spending bills are going.

Are you a disgruntled ex-Acorn worker? Is "insatiable" the Reader's Digest word of the month? You are a clever monkey.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This is good. When the debate is focused on the public option or not, it has moved beyond the debate on any reform or not. Slow and steady wins the day.

Posted by: nodebris | September 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

RE: Texan2007

-----------------------------

Polls are scientific. Read an book or explanation of probability and statistics or take a course in basic statistics.

It doesn't matter who does the poll, as long as it is random (not a selective population) and the questions are not leading or ambiguous questions, like "are you still beating your wife?"

The questions are right there. you can judge for yourself.

The number of people polled determines the accuracy of the poll as representing the general population. Accuracy doesn't get better than about 3% either way. At 1,100 people polled, it maximizes its accuracy around 3% either way.

Flip a coin 100 times, and you'll be astonished at how close you'll get to 50 heads and 50 tails.

Don't gamble too much. you sound like a loser.

Posted by: owldog | September 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

A New York Times/ CBS Poll...Are you kidding? They are just another Obama Czar!


The lights seem to have really went out for the "DIM" congress. There is a vote more important than theirs.
Americans, the boss to these elected officials, vote in 2010.


Posted by: Texan2007 | September 29, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Bubette1-
I'd love to get you back those jobs you and your fellow Wal-Marters keep crying about...too bad your insatiable (look it up) apetite for cheap Chinese crap doomed much of the American manufacturing sector.
As for fixing the economy, the only chance this country's got of that is with the guy running the show right now...we'd be truly screwed if the Got Our Piece party was still in there.
Try not to jump off a bridge when 2010 comes and goes and the Dems are still running things.

Public Option Now.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | September 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

IF DEMOCRATS ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE NEXT ELECTION, DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT NO PUBLIC OPTION THAN NO HEALTH CARE BILL - THIS TIME.

NO PUBLIC OPTION WILL TAKE THE WIND OUT OF THE PARTY ACTIVISTS' SAILS.

New York Times/CBS News Poll: Confusion Over Health Care


34. Regardless of how you usually vote, who do you think has better ideas about reforming the health care system — Barack Obama, or the Republicans in Congress?

----------------------Obama-------Republicans in Congress-----Both(vol.)---Neither(vol.)-DK/NA

7/24-28/09-----------55------------------------26---------------------1-----------------7-----------11

8/27-31/09 CBS-----50------------------------23---------------------1----------------13-----------13

9/19-23/09----------52------------------------27---------------------2-----------------11------------9

57. Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?

-------------------------Favor--------Oppose-----------DK/NA

6/12-16/09-------------72--------------20------------------7

7/9-12/09 CBS--------64---------------29-----------------7

7/24-28/09-------------66---------------27-----------------7

8/27-31/09 CBS-------60---------------34----------------6

9/19-23/09-------------65---------------26----------------9


67. Many Republican members of Congress oppose the Obama Administration's plans for changing the health care system. Do you think they oppose these plans mostly because they think they are bad for the country or mostly for political reasons? QUESTIONS 67 AND 68 WERE ROTATED.

----------------Bad for the country---Political reasons---Both (vol.)----DK/NA

9/19-23/09--------------27-------------------64----------------4----------------6


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nytint/docs/new-york-times-cbs-news-poll-confusion-over-health-care-tepid-support-for-war/original.pdf


Posted by: owldog | September 29, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

We have already seen the dangerous handling of the stimulus bill. Ramming through massive spending bills with little or no thought. The same was proposed for health care.

No to the public option. Vote out of office any Spendocrat that supports it.

This idiots need to fix the economy, restore jobs. Instead Obama is flying to Copenhagen to create more debt to fund the Olympics.

2010 cannot get here soon enough to start voting these clowns out of office. Unemployment continues to climb and these idiots fiddle. Cap and tax, amnesty for illegal aliens are all coming up. How much will citizens and taxpayers of this Country stand?

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 29, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

flintston,
I believe Wal-Mart sells tissue in bulk to wipe away your bitter, bitter tears.
You better get enough to last past BHO's re-election in 2012... Aah-hahahahahahahahahaaaah!

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | September 29, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The current administration obviously doesn't care about middle class Americans
or small businesses. If they did care, they would've focused on "reducing costs", instead of on the public option.
Either way, they Missed the Boat, because whether you're trying to lower premiums or whether you're trying to cover more Americans -- you still need to Reduce Costs first. All they did was waste time, accomplished nothing, except split the democratic party further and made themselves look incompetent.

Posted by: ohioan | September 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The current administration obviously doesn't care about middle class Americans
or small businesses. If they did care, they would've focused on "reducing costs", instead of on the public option.
Either way, they Missed the Boat, because whether you're trying to lower premiums or whether you're trying to cover more Americans -- you still need to Reduce Costs first. All they did was waste time, accomplished nothing, except split the democratic party further and made themselves look incompetent.

Posted by: ohioan | September 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Vote no without a public option.

Decouple health care financing with employment.

Posted by: Emmetrope | September 29, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Cohn (speaking of the Netherlands): "although the government finances long term care through a public option"
Howard Dean is right. There is no health care reform without a PUBLIC OPTION!

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | September 29, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It will be very interesting to see how many of these dimocrats are willing to commit political suicide: either suicide within their party or suicide with the voters.

I love it when a plan comes together and the dims just take themselves apart.

Posted by: flintston | September 29, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I want to drop my employee health care and take the public option.

Posted by: Independent4tw | September 29, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

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