This statement surprised me. You be the judge.
Obama said the public option "has become a source of ideological contention between the left and right." But, he added, "I didn't campaign on the public option."
Obama rejects criticism on health-care reform legislation
Lots of links below the fold that appear to create a contradiction between the statement above and the actual facts.
In the 2008 Obama-Biden health care plan on the campaign’s website, candidate Obama promised that "any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan." 
– During a speech at the American Medical Association, President Obama told thousands of doctors that one of the plans included in the new health insurance exchanges "needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market." [6/15/09]
– While speaking to the nation during his weekly address, the President said that "any plan" he signs "must include...a public option." [7/17/09]
– During a conference call with progressive bloggers, the President said he continues "to believe that a robust public option would be the best way to go." [7/20/09]
– Obama told NBC’s David Gregory that a public option "should be a part of this [health care bill]," while rebuking claims that the plan was "dead." [9/20/09]
Think Progress: FLASHBACK: Obama Repeatedly Touted Public Option Before Refusing To Push For It In The Final Hours
Links at Think Progress (thereby forcing people to go there, which is fair since they put the information together). Follow the link above.
Response to Questionaire by Candidate Barack Obama In 2008
Do you have a plan to make health care more accessible to Americans? If so, how would you do it?
Every American has the right to affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage. My plan will ensure that all Americans have health care coverage through their employers, private health plans, the federal government, or the states. My plan builds on and improves our current insurance system, which most Americans continue to rely upon, and creates a new public health plan for those currently without coverage. Under my plan, Americans will be able to choose to maintain their current coverage if they choose to. For those without health insurance I will establish a new public insurance program, and provide subsides to afford care for those who need them. My plan includes a mandate that all children have health care coverage and I will expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs to help ensure we cover all kids. My plan requires all employers to contribute towards health coverage for their employees or towards the cost of the public plan. Under my plan a typical family will save $2,500 each year. We will realize tremendous savings within the health care system from improving efficiency and quality and reducing wasted expenditures system-wide. Specifically, these savings will result from investments in health information technology, improvements in prevention and management of chronic conditions, increased insurance industry competition and reduced industry overhead, the provision of federal reinsurance for catastrophic coverage, and reduced spending on uncompensated care.
I know some will tell me that Barack Obama always never campaigned for the public option.
I am amazed he said this. I cannot lie to myself and accept the new reality.
You be the judge yourself.
I'm sure there are more links.
And why does it matter? Why could he not just say that he preferred a public option, but the bill is still good without it? That was his position after he was elected President, once the campaign was over. Why would he revise history?
I don't understand anymore.
Update I: See also this diary by itsbenj that was before mine for more links and please recommend it also:
Obama in WaPo - "Every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill."
From a radio interview in 2007:
Obama: Senator Clinton’s plan for healthcare, my plan, John Edward’s plan are all similar in the sense that we set up a government plan alongside the private plans that people have. And people can buy in. And we all subsidize participation in that plan.
Laura Knoy: So it’s not universal, single payer healthcare such as Dennis Kucinich['s plan]?
Obama: Exactly. It’s not single payer, it’s a transitional system building on the existing systems that we have.
Laura Knoy: Transitional to what?
Obama in 2007 (Audio): My Healthcare Plan is for a "Transitional System"
While researching President Obama’s past opposition to an individual mandate for health insurance, I came across an interesting audio clip from 2007. Then Senator Obama was speaking to Laura Knoy of New Hampshire Public Radio. Click the link below to listen:
Obama on NH NPR – Clip 1
Again, follow the link and you will find an audio link to hear the radio interview with New Hampshire NPR
Require all children to have health insurance, and employers to offer employee health benefits or contribute to the cost of the new public program. Expand Medicaid and SCHIP and create the National Health Insurance Exchange through which small businesses and individuals without access to other public programs or employer-based coverage could enroll in a new public plan, like Medicare, or in a range of approved private plans.
This side-by-side comparison of the candidates' positions on health care was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation with the assistance of Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. and is based on information appearing on the candidates' websites as supplemented
Update IV: Wikepedia needs to change their entry:
Barack Obama called for universal health care. His health care plan called for the creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange that would include both private insurance plans and a Medicare-like government run option. Coverage would be guaranteed regardless of health status, and premiums would not vary based on health status either. It would have required parents to cover their children, but did not require adults to buy insurance.
Update V:From indiemcemopants in the comment
Here's the PDF for (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:andrewj54, TomP
the Obama-Biden Health care plan.
You can click search and "public plan" and I found at least five references.
"Everybody lies... except POLITICIANS? House, I do believe you are a romantic."
by indiemcemopants on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:10:36 PM PST
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Update VI and one that is really on point:
From justmy2 in the comments
You missed an important one TomP (4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:TheMomCat, allmost liberal european, TomP, Muzikal203
I think it is worth an update...
In fact, Obama proposed a public insurance option in May, 2007, on the day he first introduced his health care proposal during a speech in Iowa. From the New York Times account:
Mr. Obama would create a new public plan open to individuals who cannot get group coverage through work or the existing government programs, like Medicaid or the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
It is in the click thru from Ezra here...
I am not against all health care reform, I am just against dumb health care reform!
by justmy2 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 02:49:08 PM PST
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Here is the orignial link, saving going from Ezra to another link to another link:
New York Times, May 29, 2007, Obama Offers Health Care Plan
IOWA CITY, Iowa, May 29 — Senator Barack Obama proposed a major overhaul of the nation’s health care system today, aimed at covering the nearly 45 million uninsured Americans, reducing premium costs for everyone else, and breaking what he asserted was "the stranglehold" that the biggest drug and insurance companies have on the health care market.
Mr. Obama would create a new public plan open to individuals who cannot get group coverage through work or the existing government programs, like Medicaid or the State Childrens Health Insurance Program. He would also create a National Health
Insurance Exchange, a regulated marketplace of competing private health plans that would aim at "reforming" the private insurance market and giving individuals other, more affordable options for coverage.
Update VII: From Greg Sargent at the Plum Line:
Obama pushes back hard on criticism of the health care bill’s shortcomings, and seems to display some annoyance over the obsession with the public option:
"Every single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill... I am very enthusiastic about what we have achieved...I didn’t campaign on the public option."
* Actually, Obama did in fact campaign on, and aggressively advocate for, the public option. The criticism is that he failed to push Joe Lieberman and other centrists hard enough and gave up the game in the end.
The Plum Line at WaPO, Greg Sargent 's Blog
Update VIII: From Neuvo Liberal in the comments:
From my very own defense of Obama (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:desmoinesdem, TomP
during the campaign (which, I suspect you remember quite well, TomP ;)):
on Wed May 30, 2007 here
- NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE. To provide Americans with additional options, the Obama plan will make available a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible.
Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or purchase an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale subsidies will be provided for people and families who need it. Insurers would have to issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums that will not depend upon health status.
The Exchange will require that all the plans offered are at least as generous as the new public plan and meet the same standards for quality and efficiency. Insurers would be required to justify an above-average premium increase to the Exchange. The Exchange would evaluate plans and make the differences among the plans, including cost of services, transparent.
and also from his platform:
The Obama-Biden plan both builds on and improves our current insurance system, which most Americans
continue to rely upon, and leaves Medicare intact for older and disabled Americans. Under the Obama-Biden
plan, Americans will be able to maintain their current coverage, have access to new affordable options, and see
the quality of their health care improve and their costs go down. The Obama-Biden plan provides new
affordable health insurance options by: (1) guaranteeing eligibility for all health insurance plans; (2) creating a
National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance; (3)
providing new tax credits to families who can’t afford health insurance and to small businesses with a new
Small Business Health Tax Credit; (4) requiring all large employers to contribute towards health coverage for
their employees or towards the cost of the public plan; (5) requiring all children have health care coverage; (5)
expanding eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs; and (6) allowing flexibility for state health reform
(1) GUARANTEED ELIGIBILITY. Obama and Biden will require insurance companies to cover pre-existing
conditions so all Americans, regardless of their health status or history, can get comprehensive benefits at fair
and stable premiums.
(2) NEW AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS. The Obama-Biden plan will create a
National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals purchase new affordable health care options if they are
uninsured or want new health insurance. Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to
enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale tax credits will be
provided for people and families who need it.
Quality and efficiency. Participating hospitals and providers that participate in the new public plan will
be required to collect and report data to ensure that standards for health care quality, health information
technology and administration are being met.
One line HCR: Allow Medicare Buy-In for all. Pass it via the reconciliation process.
by NeuvoLiberal on Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 04:32:33 PM PST
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