Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Was Reid's "Public Option" Move Simply a "Show"?

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that proposed healthcare reform would include a "public option." Reid's announcement came while the Washington, DC rumor mill debated whether the White House truly supported a public plan. Shortly after Reid's announcement, Senator Joe Lieberman announced that he would not support a public plan. Lieberman, who has received over $1 million from the insurance industry during his career, claims that the public plan would harm the economy.

Without Lieberman's support, the public plan will lack the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. It seems impossible that Reid could have made the announcement without realizing Lieberman's position. Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University, argues that Reid's dramatic announcement regarding the public plan probably represents his effort to appease liberal backers, including labor unions and leftists:
You put on a good show for certain elements of the electorate and say with all candor that you tried your hardest and you got it debated, but it’s very difficult to corral 60 senators. . . .That will satisfy most people.

This theory sounds immensely plausible.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Well, yeah. They got their photo-ops, self-congratulatory handshakes, and press releases lauding the "historic" development.

Meanwhile, we are learning that the PO (as is and if still alive after the dust settles) will apply to only 2% of Americans, will come into effect in 2019(!), and its premiums are going to be higher than those of private insurance companies. So what gives? Where does the reform part start?

I'm getting confuseder by the minute.

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