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.