Barack Obama Whitewashes Support for the Public Insurance Plan
There are many ominous signs that indicate the Obama administration will not even try to include the public plan option in this year's health care reform. During the campaign, Barack Obama promised that his health care plan would include a public plan option in his health care reform, but it looks like the plan may die without a fight.
The Obama administration's websites have essential no indications that he supports a public plan option. Not only is the public plan not mentioned on Whitehouse.gov, but there is only a few indirect reference to it on his website dedicated to health care reform, healthreform.gov. Neither site states Obama supports a public plan.
The most recent indication that Obama is planning to abandon one of his core campaign promises came today with the launch of “Doctors for America” (DrsforAmerica.org). Senator Baucus and the Center for America Progress Action Fund today announced the rebranding of the campaign organization “Doctors for Obama” (DoctorsForObama.org) as “Doctors for America”.
Doctors For Obama was an organization which promoted Obama's health care plan and his candidacy. It previously actively endorsed the public plan on its website. In its newest incarnation DrsforAmerica.org the phrase “public plan” does not appear once.
Almost all Republicans, a few Democrats, and the whole health insurance industry is opposed to the public plan option. On the other hand, the public plan option is one of the core issues for the progressive movement and is supported by the vast majority of Americans in most polling. Many Democrats believe a public plan option is the cornerstone of reform and the only way to dramatically reduce the cost of health care while expanding coverage. Barack Obama could never have won the Democratic presidential primary without fully backing a public plan option.
It would be highly disappointing, but understandable, if the public plan had to be sacrificed as literally the only way to implement important health care reforms. What is happening, though, is completely different. Not only is the Obama administration not openly fighting for the public plan, it appears that they are also trying to whitewash history and pretend that he never supported it in the first place. If this critical campaign promise dies a quiet death behind closed doors, it will be a very worrying sign about the type of president Obama will be.