Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama Promises Progressives A Public Option While Promising the Insurance Industry There Won't Be One.

Guess who he was lying to?

Here's a transcript from last night's Ed Schultz show on MSNBC: (H/T Mike Mogulescu)

SCHULTZ: Obviously, we need to pass this health care bill. There‘s a lot of Americans that would be affected. I am bothered by this deal the White House cut with the health care industry and big insurance. Here‘s a quote from a top industry lobbyist. It was reported in “the New York Times” back on August 13th, when the Tea Parties were going on. Quote, “we have an agreement with the White House, and I‘m very confident will be seen all the way through conference. We trust the White House. We are confident that the Senate Finance Committee bill will produce a bill we fully can endorse.” 
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: Well, that‘s a lobbyist for the hospital industry. He‘s talking about the hospital industry specific deal with the White House and Senate Finance Committee. I thought, yeah, I think the hospital industry has a deal here. 
There really were only two deals. Meaning quid pro quo, handshake, commitment on both sides deals. One with the hospitals and one with the drug industry. I think what you‘re interested is that in the background of both of these deals was the presumption, shared on the part of lobbyists on one side and the White House on other, that the public option was not going to be part of the final product. 
I have written in the past that President Obama is lying to progressives and promising he will do everything he can to include a public option. And yet it seems very likely that he made an agreement with the health care industry -before this process even began-to work to ensure that there was no public option.
Well, if you promise one thing to one group, and the opposite to another, someone is going to get screwed. And it's painfully obvious that it won't be the insurance companies. Which leaves progressives, and ultimately, the American public.

Obama is blatantly operating in bad faith. Progressives wanted single payer. They were told they would have to settle for the public option. They were told the president would fight for it. The Democratic leadership promised they would fight for it. The president and the leadership lied. There is no other way around it. They got the bill they wanted, and it's a pile of crap.

Mike Mogulescu writes this:
Whenever I write blogs which are critical of Obama and Congressional Democrats for making corporatist deals, I get numerous comments from people who believe they are progressive but say they will never vote for Obama or Democrats again, that they will stay home at the next election, or that they will vote for small third parties who have no chance of winning. It's not my intent to encourage those views. Do people making these comments really think bringing Republicans back to power would make things better?
My goal is to shine a light on these backroom deals in order to embarrass Obama and Congressional Democrats to put the interests of the voters over the interests of special interests so that Republicans can't play at being faux populists and use that to take back Congress in order to enact even worse corporatist policies.
I appreciate Mike's willingness to criticize the Democrats for acting like Republicans. But I hope he isn't pinning too much hope on the tactic of embarrassing the Democrats. It appears they have no shame.

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