According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House has prepared a scaled-down healthcare reform package that would accomplish far less than the Obama administration's current proposal. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, however, says that this is not true.
Klein chides the Wall Street Journal for pushing the idea that the White House is considering "health-care lite." Klein, however, concedes that since August, the White House has debated the merits of a lighter reform package.
According to Klein, Rahm Emanuel pushed the idea of aiming low, believing that comprehensive reform either could not pass or that it would cost Democrats votes in the midterm elections. The Wall Street Journal also reports that Emanuel pushed a smaller package, but the article states that he did not design the alternative policy. Klein says that Emanuel pushed the idea again after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts senate race. According to Klein, however, advocates of the comprehensive plan won the debate on each occasion.
The Wall Street Journal article relies on anonymous sources. Klein's does too, but Klein's sources are from within the White House, while the Wall Street Journal does not cite White House sources -- even anonymously -- a factor that for Klein raises suspicion of attempted "sabotage."
Query: Dana Milbank's recent Washington Post article that reads like a personal marketing statement for Rahm Emanuel also states that Emanuel pushed a much smaller reform package. According to Milbank/Emanuel, President Obama's failure to listen to Emanuel was a terrible mistake. Could the Wall Street Journal article represent a last-ditch effort by Emanuel's people to bring attention to healthcare lite?
Update: Klein says that the Wall Street Journal has now updated the article without saying so; the new version drops a quote from an anonymous, senior White House official. But the clever Klein made a screen-capture of the original article.