Tuesday, July 12, 2016

President Obama is calling on Congress to add the public option to the Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy of The Hill: 

President Obama is calling on Congress to add a “public option” to ObamaCare to improve his signature health law. 

The pitch from Obama comes after he abandoned pursuit of a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers during the long legislative battle over healthcare because of opposition from some Democrats in Congress. 

“Public programs like Medicare often deliver care more cost-effectively by curtailing administrative overhead and securing better prices from providers,” Obama writes in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

“The public plan did not make it into the final legislation. Now, based on experience with the ACA, I think Congress should revisit a public plan to compete alongside private insurers in areas of the country where competition is limited,” writes the president. 

The new embrace from the president also comes amid what appears to be a concerted push by the Democratic Party to rally around the public option.

I have to take issue with that last paragraph.

This is not a "new embrace" for the President. On the contrary. 

You see Obamacare was ALWAYS about laying the groundwork for a public option. Always.

That was something that even America's national moron Sarah Palin recognized way back in 2014.

Now the Bernie Sanders supporters are going to start beating their chests and calling this a victory for their side, but it is anything but.

In fact forcing the President to talk about this publicly before the election is not a good thing at all.

You see sometimes in politics a little subterfuge is the best way to get policies through, rather than simply attempting to ram it through with aggressive tactics, public shaming, and energizing your base.

That is why I cringed so hard when Bernie was talking about pushing the ACA aside in favor of his version of a public option. Simply put that was NEVER going to happen.

On the other hand Hillary Clinton has been in the circle of trust since the very beginnings of Obamacare, and she knows what's up. And she knows what is supposed to happen next.

In fact I wrote about it myself way back in 2012: 

When the Affordable Care Act was passed WITHOUT the public option, I know a lot of people were really upset. Myself included. 

But then I read somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, that this was just the first step of Obama's ultimate plan, and that once the bill had passed it would be tweaked, and tweaked until the programs offered had finally forced most of the health care insurers out of business, and then we would, for all intents and purposes, move to the single payer health care system that the progressives had long been hoping for.

I still can't find that article, and I looked for it so I could add it to this post.

But I do remember that it was written by one of the folks who worked on the ACA, and in it he assured the readers that the public option was not dead, that it was part of the plan, but that we would have to remain patient.

I believe that President Obama coming out publicly now, was NOT part of that plan. He wanted the tweaks and improvements to occur without garnering too much public attention.

In other word THIS statement is designed to appease the Sanders supporters who are threatening to take their balls and go home. It was not a politically strategic move designed to actually get that public option added to the ACA.

In fact now that it has been said so publicly it is much less likely that it will to come to pass.

You see Hillary understands that the best way to improve access to good affordable health care right now is to do a little horse trading and to use a little diplomacy with politicians from across the aisle who are ready to deal and recognize that their constituents sent them to Washington to get things done.

These are things that Hillary Clinton is extremely adept at doing. She was even complimented by Republicans while she was in the Senate for these very skills.

She also understands the power of keeping things close to the chest.

Unlike Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and President Obama do not show their cards before they are ready to win the pot. They know that their opponents are constantly looking for anything that they can use to justify throwing up more obstacles and sabotaging progress.

In simpler terms, Hillary Clinton and President Obama are playing chess, while the Republicans are playing checkers.

However it appears for all intents and purposes as it Bernie Sanders is playing Connect Four.

And that is why he was not the right choice to move forward with President Obama's agenda.


  1. Anonymous1:37 PM

    My small company insurance is bouncing 30%+ this year due to ACA. Might sink us. We could operate and scraped along during the very slow recovery recession prior to this.

    1. Nonsense. Your "very small company" if less than 50 FTE employees is exempt from having to provide health insurance to employees. If fewer than 25 FTE employees, there are subsidies and tax credits available.

      Premiums were rising astronomically before ACA and for far less coverage. Premiums didn't suddenly start going up when ACA was enacted.

    2. Anonymous2:36 PM

      Nope. Without the ACA it would be much more.

    3. Anonymous3:11 PM

      Wrong to both of you. My company prides in providing (good insurance, BCBS)insurance 2:24, regardless of any exemption. Without it, my employees would leave, and I would expect them to. You have no idea what you are talking about with subsidies and tax credit bs. None. You obviously do not run a small company and know nothing of which you speak. 2:36 your idiocy is not even worth responding to.

    4. Anonymous3:16 PM

      And it depends on where you live and if you have a GOP Governor. So I suspect you live in a red state and that they are doing all they can to screw up ACA so that they can say 'I told you so' and try to repeal it? So, where do you live?

      You do understand that it is a state by state issue, right?

    5. Anonymous3:18 PM

      I wouldn't want to work for a company that so little values me as an employee that they complain about providing me healthcare.

    6. Anonymous3:33 PM

      Idiot 3:18.... did you not get the part that my company PRIDES itself on providing full insurance including dental.

      How is that a complaint when it is a matter of PRIDE you dumbass? The reality is, this economy is stagnant, slowly improving at best, and costs are rising much faster than business earnings. 16+ years, and we survived the bottom of the recession. No raises, but fully insured and employed.

      I should probably just shutter it all and go 'work' for the government. 40 hour 'workweek' and good everything.

    7. Anonymous4:59 PM

      Fecking IMers. Flip coin of pee pond. Parrot parrot parrot, leave no trace of citation behind.

    8. Anonymous4:42 AM

      To Ananymous 3:11--States that did not accept the ACA have seen extremely poor performance regarding plans offered the elevated costs for existing plans. ELECT SMARTER PEOPLE!

  2. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Why don't you lobby for a spot in Mrs Clinton's cabinet since you always seem to say "I told you so"?

    1. Anonymous2:18 PM

      Trolling the net to make you feel like you accomplished something today? What a waste of a human you are!

    2. Anonymous2:48 PM

      The logic is escaping me.

    3. Lieberman...you A-hole.

    4. Anonymous3:19 PM

      Sour grapes.

    5. Anonymous4:44 AM

      My 27 year old niece (in a blue state) signed up for an incredible policy. My 25 year old child (red state) signed up for a similiar plan and must pay 5x more. ELECT SMARTER PEOPLE!

  3. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Exactly the opposite is true: It is Because of Bernie Sanders that Clinton and Obama have at last summoned the political courage to talk about the Public Option. Sanders has been talking about it for over a year as "Medicare for All" and the idea is Yugely popular.

    1. "Because of Bernie Sanders that Clinton and Obama have at last summoned the political courage to talk about the Public Option."
      What utter fucking bullshit. The President has said all along that the ACA as passed was only a start. He expected all along that as people became used it it would continue to improve and offer more.

    2. Anonymous2:40 PM

      It has always been hugely popular on the left. Did you just wake up? It hasn't been doable because of the opposition on the right (big pharma, big insurance, and their paid for congress people).

    3. Anonymous3:11 PM

      Totally fucking true: Until last weekend, Clinton was for "expanding and improving" the Affordable Care Act and Against single payer. She called Sanders' Medicare for All plan - which IS Single Payer "Dismantling Obamacare."

      It is absolutely because Bernie Sanders had the courage to talk about it, rally people behind it that Clinton and Obama have grown a pair about the issue. Bernie cleared the way. And make no mistake, when single payer happens, history will give the credit to Bernard Sanders.

    4. Anonymous3:18 PM

      Bullshit. O has had this on the radar since 2008. He is a very long term visionary and he saw all the steps and the most pragmatic approach to take instead of 'instant gratification'. Bernie is no Obama. Bernie isn't even a visionary. He is an impatient and demanding toddler alot of the time. So take that crap elsewhere. We here on IM do our homework and aren't blindly let by hate and racism.

    5. Anonymous4:02 PM

      It was the plan all along? Then why did he wait until three months before the election to finally say something. If he can't even get Merrick Garland confirmed, exactly what do you expect he's going to do about the public option except talk about it.

      Stop blaming Bernie for every fucking gripe you have.

    6. Anonymous4:57 PM


    7. Anonymous9:14 PM

      1:48 nope!

      — In the 2008 Obama-Biden health care plan on the campaign’s website, candidate Obama promised that “any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.” [2008]
      — During a speech at the American Medical Association, President Obama told thousands of doctors that one of the plans included in the new health insurance exchanges “needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market.” [6/15/09]
      — While speaking to the nation during his weekly address, the President said that “any plan” he signs “must include…a public option.” [7/17/09]
      — During a conference call with progressive bloggers, the President said he continues “to believe that a robust public option would be the best way to go.” [7/20/09]
      — Obama told NBC’s David Gregory that a public option “should be a part of this [health care bill],” while rebuking claims that the plan was “dead.” [9/20/09]

      Obama always wanted public option and universal healthcare. He had to scrap public option in ACA at last minute to get it passed.
      this is NOT new and it is NOT Bernie's fight. OBAMA is the one who changed health care law and made it possible yo open the door to universal healthcare.

      And Hillary has been fighting for healthcare reform since she was the First Lady!
      Bernie's supporters do not know their recent history at all!

  4. Anonymous1:54 PM

    To insure my family through the ACA it was going to be $800 a month premium with a $13,500 deductible. Now because we never could have afforded that, we get to pay over $2000 in penalties at the end of the year. Pretty much all we have in savings. We got screwed in Alaska.

    1. Anonymous4:05 PM

      You have a Republican governor and a Republican state legislature. That's the fault of Alaskan voters, not Obama.

      Those red congressmen you keep sending to DC aren't doing you any favors either.

    2. Anonymous4:16 PM

      4:05pm... That was my point. The republicans across the board that made it this way. And the insurance companies that raised the prices this high just because they could. And now we only have one insurer this year so it's a monopoly. I still feel like Alaskans should have a break on the penalty because our premiums were so much higher than the lower 48.

    3. Anonymous4:55 PM

      Vote Lisa Murkowski out of office when she comes up for reelection in November. She is bringing in national money to Alaska for her campaign...which tells you right there that she knows she's in trouble! She damn near lost last go around - make sure it happens this go around Alaska!

      Knock her out of office! She's been a 'do nothing' Congress person - exactly as her particular Congress has been deemed!

      She's worthless!

    4. Murkowski's ads focus on protecting Alaskan's from over-regulation and protecting the second amendment. What more needs to be said? Hook conservatives with those issues and it's a done deal. Healthcare is not even an issue. It doesn't need to be. Losing one's health insurance and health are far more likely than losing the right to own a gun, but conservatives cannot be convinced of that. Republicans have done nothing on healthcare nor will they, except to try to dismantle the ACA so insurance companies can flourish by dropping and denying. Yes, I know they are a business and businesses need to make money. But seriously, should your personal health be a business?

      I don't think democrats have all the answers, but
      this state is in virtual lock down by republicans who have plenty of social issue concerns, but few policies that benefit individual Alaskans and even fewer ideas about fixing he economy.

    5. I'm in Wisconsin, I am in the same boat as Alaska. Murkowski has nothing on Scott Walker and Paul Ryan though...

  5. Hedgewytch1:55 PM

    When Clinton wins the Presidency and the Dems sweep Congress, which is getting more and more likely by the day as we watch the GOP tailspin itself into crazy lannd, we'll see it happen.

  6. Marthe2:25 PM

    If the ACA has increased costs for some, place the blame on insurance companies eager to make more money or to kill the ACA by raising premiums especially before an election.

    A public option where the cost is distributed amongst all will be much less costly. It's not easy to manage, but the private sector does not do a better job and it certainly does not have the best interest of the citizens at heart.

    Everyone deserves healthcare even if it's not perfect and those with money can always rely on private healthcare if they so choose.

    I can already hear the lamentations from the Kool-Aid drinkers : But, but, but my taxes will go up... But, but, but, I don't want to pay for someone else (until it happens to them). It would be especially fun to watch your "national moron" loose her wig over this one.

    Seriously, I really do hope that all Americans end up having affordable healthcare.

    1. Anonymous4:09 PM

      I suggest they watch Michael Moore's latest movie. He's done the math. The American taxpayer pays a lot more and gets a lot less than people in those "socialist" countries.

  7. Anonymous2:28 PM

    I am so sick of the butt hurt Bernie bros still whining. He had ZERO support for Planned Parenthood which is unconscious able after those phony videos emerged. Frankly, I am not inclined to support the Johnston fundraising unless Ivknow for certain that they are string Democrats. There are far, far too many more worthy causes to support.

  8. Anonymous2:29 PM

    I am so sick of the butt hurt Bernie bros still whining. He had ZERO support for Planned Parenthood which is unconscious able after those phony videos emerged. Frankly, I am not inclined to support the Johnston fundraising unless I know for certain that they are strong Democrats. There are far, far too many more worthy causes to support.

  9. Maple2:43 PM

    Sarah Palin, America's national moron ---- PERFECT! Thank Dog she lives on the other side of the border.

  10. Crystal Sage2:46 PM

    While the Republicans come out strongly against pornography, the Democrats are talking about raising the minimum wage; tuition help and the public option in the ACA. Pretty much sums up where the two parties' heads are at.

    I think Hillary gave Bernie the necessary props to appease the Bernie supporters but there will still be some discontented folk. Great, progressive platform. Needs Democratic Congress to achieve.

    1. Anonymous3:22 PM

      The only reason Single Payer and $15 minimum wage are in the Dem platform is Bernie Sanders and his delegates fought for and won them. Bernie Sanders and his delegates get 100% credit for bringing around Clinton and Obama.

    2. Here I'll let you in on a little something.

      That $15.00 minimum wage is NOT going to happen. If both the Senate and Congress were run by the Dems then maybe, but as it stands right now getting it raised to 9 or 10 dollars an hour is all you can really hope for. If that.

      Like I have said before getting something added to the Democratic Party platform is light years away from getting it signed into law.

  11. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Off Topic: Wolf Blitzer Show: A guest on the Wolf Blitzer show said that Pence
    is looking like a good choice, and
    wouldn't be a drag on Trump's ticket
    like Sarah Palin was a drag on McCain's.
    Another can just hit the Palin fridge!

  12. Anonymous3:17 PM

    The worst mistake made with the ACA was leaving open the loophole that allowed states not to create their own exchanges. It's in the states that don't have their own exchanges and strong departments of insurance encouraging competition where the premiums and deductibles are high and rates are double digits. Which are also primarily the states that didn't expand Medicaid. Luckily, the reorganization of Medicare saves so much fucking money every year that the only replacement for the ACA that doesn't hit the federal budget hard is single payer or Medicare For All.

    1. Anonymous4:48 PM

      I say 'thank you' every day to the ACA. Without it I would never have been able to gain insurance due to having a preexisting condition that continues to worsen every year I live.

      Thank you, President Obama and VP Biden. I know a President Hillary Clinton will keep it in place with changes made for the continual benefit of Americans!

      Whereas, any Republican (especially The Donald) that gains The White House will dismantle it to the detriment of millions of Americans!

      Vote wisely, Americans!

  13. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Uh oh, Jesse
    Senator Warren has been asked to speak on the opening night at the convention. This might indicate that she is not going to be a VP candidate. Sorry

    1. Yeah I have been getting concerned lately that Hills is going in another direction as well.

      That would be too bad since there is now serious talk that Trump might choose Chris Christie.

      That would be a fun match up to watch.

    2. Anonymous4:27 PM

      Senator Warren speaks


    3. Anonymous4:43 PM

      Sorry, but I don't think Trump and Christie are going to work out in the long run.

      Both are bulls in a China shop and both have huge egos. Who is going to be the leader of the two?

      They'll eventually end up killing one or the other. They both have the backgrounds to do it (mafia connections) and would easily blame a death on someone else!

      Are we going to see assassination again in the White House? I wouldn't find it to be a surprise at all with those two!

      It smacks of another reason to vote for Hillary Clinton!

  14. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Oh, you were so close.

    Then you had to go and beat your Bernie Bashing horse some more. Because it will never be dead enough to suit you.

    Are you proud of what your once safe and courteous board has degenerated in to? I guess you can't resist those last few kicks.

    Are those the ethics and honorable behavior all those years of martial arts training taught you?

    What next? Stealing shoes from the corpse?

    1. Anonymous6:26 PM

      I voted Bernie in the primary, and I couldn’t be happier with how his campaign turned out. Anyone who thought he had any shot at being president was deluded from the beginning. He was always there to drive Hillary Clinton to the left, and force her to acknowledge progressive ideals and progressive voters. Having done that, he’s bowed out of the campaign, as I always expected him to. I think most of the people who are mad at him for bowing out never really had any understanding of what he was trying to accomplish in the first place.

    2. Anonymous6:27 PM

      I don’t know why people are freaking the fuck out. It’s not that hard to understand.

      Bernie Sanders does not want Donald Trump to be President. Ever. Period. He will do whatever he has to to make sure that does not happen.

      Should the situation be reversed, Hillary would do the same thing.

    3. Anonymous6:44 PM

      Sanders loses Secret Service protection


    4. Anonymous8:04 PM

      How Bernie came to back Hillary

      ...The coming-together finally occurred after long talks involving Clinton, Sanders and his wife, Jane, as well as top campaign officials on both sides. The negotiations centered on how the two candidates could push forward with an agreed-upon agenda.

      A critical moment in the process, Clinton aides said Tuesday, was the meeting between the two candidates last month at the Washington Hilton. The talk helped to break the ice, with Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver and Clinton counterpart Robby Mook lingering at the hotel for another two hours.

      In the weeks after that initial meeting, Mook and Weaver continued the discussion in a string of calls and text messages. Last month, they had a one-on-one dinner at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill in Burlington, Vt., one Clinton aide said.

      Over a burger for Weaver and a salad for Mook, they discussed issues including Sanders’s tuition-free college proposal. They were interrupted several times by diners asking to take selfies with Weaver, the Clinton aide said. The dinner meeting went well into the night, lasting until about 11 p.m.

      Other players in the Democratic Party also got involved in the unity push. New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who is expected to become the next Senate Democratic leader, worked the phones to bring the sides together on policy, another source said, and dined with Sanders at a Chinese restaurant on Capitol Hill recently to talk about an endorsement of Clinton.

      Clinton agreed to move toward Sanders in accepting a $15 minimum wage, a public option for health insurance in ObamaCare and the elimination of tuition at in-state universities and colleges for many families.

      With those concessions squared away, Sanders made the decision to back Clinton.


  15. Anonymous4:50 PM

    The way you slobber over people is really embarrassing. Try to control yourself ffs.

  16. Anonymous7:10 PM

    Hey Gryphen, this may not be the article you mentioned, but it says essentially what you said. It's a right wing publication, so keep that in mind.

    Then there's a very good and comprehensive article that you and your readers may enjoy looking back. Look at what Obama was up against, in detail, and then ask yourself if the climate would have been remotely conducent to the public option approach. It's a long and detailed article well worth the read.

    Then there's an article on the origins of Romneycare, and then there's a detailed explanation of Romneycare itself.

    And to all you Bernie supporters that are crediting Bernie without crediting Obama as the original thinker on this, are flat out wrong.


    Obamacare vs. Romneycare — A Crucial Difference

    So, back to the goals or the intentions of Obama and Romney. We know what Romney’s goal was. His goal was to involve the private sector of Massachusetts in insuring a small percentage of the Massachusetts’ healthcare pie.

    Obama’s goal prior to signing Obamacare into law was much, much bigger.

    ...In 2003, he said, “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan.” From that speech:

    I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we’ve got to take back the White House, we’ve got to take back the Senate, and we’ve got to take back the House.

    ...The fact is, Obamacare was originally going to be single payer. It was going to be European — as close to it as Congress would allow. But that was curbed. What they got, instead — what we got, instead — was the first step. Obamacare. The first step toward single-payer, universal healthcare coverage. That’s a lot bigger than just under 10%, and it is a heckuva lot more disruptive.


    The Real Story of Obamacare's Birth

    ...Interestingly, even Obama has said that Obamacare was drawn from Romneycare, the Massachusetts plan championed by then-Governor Mitt Romney. But Romneycare was itself derived from the Chafee / Grassley / Durenberger / Hatch Republican alternative to the Clinton plan. The essence of Obamacare is a structure devised in 1993-94 by those Republican senators, then rejected and renounced in apocalyptic terms by Grassley and Hatch.




  17. Anonymous8:04 AM

    You talk as if Democrats are in control of what will happen. They are not.


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