Thursday, August 27, 2009
# Posted 11:55 AM by Ariel David Adesnik
MR. GREGORY: You're not backing away from [the public option], but there is concern within the Democratic Party that President Obama is backing away. Here was the headline in the New York Post this week that spoke for a lot of liberals, actually, both publicly and privately: "Sellout! Liberals howl as Bam `caves' on the health plan." This is what the reference was to, the president's weekly radio address back in July during which he said this.Can Schumer persuade you that there's no contradiction? Here's the rest of his answer:
I've talked to the president personally about this in the last few weeks. He believes strongly in the public option. Obviously he is working hard to get a bipartisan bill, because that would be a better bill. But I believe that at the end of the day we will have a public option. And frankly, I believe we could get a public option that could be passed with the 60 Democratic votes we had. A level playing field public option, where the public option competes on a level playing field with the insurance companies, was backed in the House by both Blue Dog Democrats and more liberal Democrats. And I think that's the direction we're going to end up in.Is this a word game, or is Schumer wearing rose-colored glasses? Democratic negotiator, Sen. Kent Conrad said again on Sunday that there simply are not the votes to pass the public option. If the Senate supports a co-op based reform plan, will Schumer tells us that counts as a "level playing field public option"? The only thing I'm counting on is a surprise.
Cross-posted at Conventional Folly (2) opinions -- Add your opinion
Schumer knows how to stay on message. I always thought he had Clinton's political skills without Clinton's personal baggage and has the potential to become our country's first Jewish president (sorry Joe).
That said, I think there's some goal post moving going on. It's not a "public option" any more, it's a "level playing field public option." So a result that can be called a "level playing field" can be called a success.
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