The Hill is acting like the stenographer for Sen. Carper's public option "compromise" in their recent article extolling the compromosiness of his so called "hammer" plan:
Carper’s descriptions of his idea make it sound like it could be all things to all people.
He says his aim is to address criticisms from lawmakers like Lieberman and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that the public option is "government-run, government-funded" by putting an outside body in charge and creating a firewall between the program and the Treasury. But this public option would be a national entity, not a collection of state plans, which is a demand of liberals.
"The hammer," as Carper calls it, shares traits with Snowe’s proposal to trigger a public option in states where private insurers do not meet established benchmarks for availability and affordability. It also jibes with Schumer’s "level-playing field" public option — the version already in the bill — because the plan must be financially self-sustaining. And the plan would be governed by a not-for-profit board, an idea similar to the healthcare cooperatives added to the bill by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).
Excuse me while I vomit. By the way, I really don't get why it's called the "hammer." It should really be called the "limp noodle."
Now, is it time to leave the public option fight for the near future possibly in the 112th Congress or the start of Obama's second term? The reforms won't kick in until 2013 anyways, and so we have time to act on this critical issue.
The current health care bill has its virtues namely the Medicaid expansion, insurance reform, an employer mandate, and the health insurance exchange, BUT it will never be complete until there is a viable public option to keep the insurers honest.
With that said, I fear what sort of watered down "public option" we will get. There may be a compromise that we can live with but if not, would it be wise to take this fight sometime else? We already have the votes for the public option THROUGH RECONCILIATION just like how COBRA and SCHIP were enacted.
Is it better to wait and fashion a public option more to our liking through reconciliation but wait a bit longer along with the uncertainty of the future?
Should we take a compromise right now?
I say we should take a compromise if we can live with it, but wait for reconciliation if it resembles anything close to Carper's "hammer."