Uh oh. Did the “Public Option” Leave a Living Will?

‘Cause I think it just met Obama’s Death Panel:

As President Obama finishes a western swing intended to bolster support for his signature policy initiative, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius opened the door to a compromise on a public option, saying it is “not the essential element” of comprehensive reform. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Obama “will be satisfied” if the private insurance market has “choice and competition.

I don’t want to write about this story. I want Barack Obama to live up to his campaign promises so that I can spend my time writing about the German lady’s TaTas, instead (Oh, go ahead and click — it’s safe for work.) But no, I have to write about how President Obama is doing some backroom maneuvering and wheeling and dealing and the end result is going to be a watered down bill that the Republicans and big pharma companies approve of — and therefore health care will remain … status quo.

Far from lighting up my world with hope and promise of change, Barack Obama reinforces every cynical view I have of national polititicians. He’s no FDR, he’s no Kennedy, he’s no Abraham Lincoln, heck, I’ll say it: He’s no Bill Clinton. He’s not showing leadership on this issue, but is letting the mainstream media run the direction of the “debates” on health care. Anyone with a brain knows at this point that these “Town Hall Health Care Debates” are not about health care — they are about people who are fed up with government, with big banks, with unemployment, even with having a person of color in the White House.  There’s a lot of change in America right now, and big part of the population is not happy with it.

Leadership does not mean being led around Sen. Kent Conrad’s North Dakota hometown, as Obama has done this past weekend.  Can someone please tell me the point of Obama’s big tour out west?  Montana? Really?

The only thing I find at all heartening about the current status of the health care debate is there is still a handful of elected officials in the House of Representatives who are willing to fight the good fight and will not vore for a bill that does not include a public option. Senator Barack Obama didn’t exactly light up the Senate floor with his leadership, so I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised at the way he’s handling the health care reform effort.

What are your thoughts?

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9 comments

  1. So much debate is going on pointing out how bad the collectivist approach of the Obama/Democrats will be for our health care, but where is the advocacy of a workable solution?

    Here is a brief outline of where we need to go with US health care:

    The Modern Health Care Solution

    We need to reset our health care system back to a free-market, patient-driven system. Every other successful part of our society runs this way- why not our health care for goodness sake?! We need:

    1. Market-based pricing of health care. We need medical Care/Service/Procedures priced up front like everything else in our society- not the price/cost black-boxes of today’s employer and government-subsidized health care.

    2. Minute-clinics and similar no-appointment, transparently-priced clinics are going in the right direction of delivering this concept:
    http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2006/01/23_zdechlikm_coninfo/

    3. Just like with the fair, portability of pre-tax 401k’s, we need fair, portable pre-tax health savings accounts for everyone to save their own money over time, make their own decisions on health care, and pay it with their own money.

    4. Make health care ‘insurance’ back into actual insurance. Couple health savings accounts with high-deductible catastrophic health insurance policies that people buy like they do for life insurance or car insurance.

    5. Reform the medical malpractice system and the laws driving it. In some cases, up to 25% of the cost of individual health care is extra tests and procedures run by doctors to ‘bullet proof’ themselves from malpractice lawsuits.

    The above approach gives everyone the access, proper control, and choice over their health- not the opposite helplessness dictated by some far away, faceless bureaucrat.

  2. Love the title of your post, Sue J! It fairly well tells it all.

    You’re right: Obama has allowed his promises of “reform” to achieve the same status as his promise on FISA. The actions don’t back up the words and rhetoric.

    Unfortunately, the “Change We Can Believe In” turns out to be him changing his mind . . . .

  3. nice post Sue J, and nicely stated Philosopher
    this issue has so many faces… the insurance cartel, the lack of a public health care system, the mis-information and all the hate being spewed back and forth
    it’s a sad situation

    the free clinic occurred in LA last week, same situation as your earlier post on these clinics…people lined up for hours for free healthcare …
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/08/hundreds-lining-up-for-free-health-care-checks-at-inglewood-forum.html

  4. I actually saw Sebelius say with a perfectly straight face on one of the Sunday news shows that we can “trust” the insurance companies to do the right thing.

    I was (and still am) mildly hopeful that Chuck Grassley’s posturing about death panels opened Obama’s eyes about it being pointless to try to work with the Republicans, but having people like Sebelius telling us to just bend over and let the insurance companies bankrupt the country is definitely disheartening.

    Slightly off topic, but I’ve been wondering lately just how all the stressed-out folks working for the postal service feel about Obama using USPS as an example of why no one needs to fear competition from the government. If Obama throws many more people under the bus, he’s going to be the only one left on it.

  5. My favorite quote of the day:

    “For crying out loud, Democrats, you have the worst learning curve on the face of the planet. How many times are you going to cave immediately in the hopes that the Republicans will get all nice and bipartisan? And how many times are you going to get all trembly-lipped and frustrated when they don’t?”

  6. Oh, yes, I throughly trust the insurance companies. The deductible on my health care provided through work has just gone up the third time in one year. It is now 1000% more than a year ago. So I have the coverage Philosopher wants for everyone in point #4. The problem with that is I do not particularily care to wait until things get catastrophic to go to the doctor. It is the only way I can afford it. Obama is spineless if he drops the public option. My Mother on Medicare has more affordable and better health coverage than what I am getting for the astronomical price the insurance companies are raking my corporation over.

  7. Obama is really blowing this…unless he never wanted it at all? I hope if he does want universal health insurance that he uses his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to come back refreshed and ready to do battle instead of letting the GOP and the morons who believe in them walk all over him.

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