A variety of reports suggest that, during a conference call this afternoon, President Obama probed House progressives to see just how flexible their demands are.
All in all it appears very much as if the President is feeling out how willing the House will be to support a bill that falls short of their earlier demands for a Medicare-like public option available to all consumers without any triggers. As I reported earlier today, Obama's set to meet with progressive House leaders Tuesday ahead of his big health care speech before Congress. That's shaping up to be an extremely crucial meeting.
A crucial meeting indeed.
We all know the arguments. The public option is the compromise so why should Progressives compromise further?
To me, this isn't about the perfect being the enemy of the good or however that saying goes.
It's about real competition on the exchange if our government is going to mandate that all Americans obtain health insurance.
For all the talk about a "better" plan than the public option, I've yet to see one. I've heard about the system they have in Germany and in Switzerland and how stricter regulations have a positive effect.
I don't trust that at present our government can enforce stricter regulations on any industry, much less the insurance industry. It was easy for Bush to destroy regulations during his misAdministration. It's not as easy to either pass regulations or enforce them if they are passed. And given the present obstacles to a public option, why would we think strict regulations have a better chance of passing our Congress?
Be that as it may, I don't think Obama is going to suggest stricter regulations in his speech on Wednesday. Though I could be wrong about that, as I cannot predict the future.
I am a citizen of this country and I have as much right as anyone to stake out my individual position in this so-called debate.
My position is that we have had little transparency in this process, and that transparency was promised by Obama. That promise was broken. From what we have seen, it has not been either the progressives or the average working class American who have gotten a seat at the table. I believe this is both a failure of imagination and a moral failure in our legislative process, regardless of what ends up getting passed into law.
I am a progressive and a member of the Democratic base, if any label at all can be chosen for what I believe. I hope the progressives hold firm in their meeting with President Obama and let him know they will not compromise on the public option so as to make it meaningless. A "trigger" would, imo, make a public option meaningless. To say that we should just pass anything now and we can fix it "down the road" would, imo, be meaningless.
Now is the time to let our representatives in the Progressive Caucus (note: link gives all members and their contact info) know we are behind them all the way and will show them our gratitude if they hold firm.