Occam's Razor: Obama Lied About Supporting The Public Option, Like He Lied About Everything Else Related To Health Care

It is amazing to me that some reporters honestly believe Obama would "prefer a strong public option." All the evidence points to the contrary. For months Obama has been trying to down play the public option. His advisers have been running around saying anything (triggers or co-ops) would be acceptable substitutes even after the CBO declared the co-ops unworkable.

With momentum recently building for the public option Obama has done nothing to help it (and a fair amount to hurt it). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is often praised for his ability to count votes. When he went to the president on Thursday to brief him about his support for the public option opt-out, Reid must have know he was extremely close to getting it passed in the Senate. A few calls from the president, some horse trading, and/or a public statement of support could have easily pushed the proposal over the edge. What did Obama do when it looked like, with a little effort, he could get a public option? He had word leaked that he would fight against the public option and wanted Snowe's worthless trigger instead. A trigger proposal Rahm Emanuel and other had advisers have been pushing for months.

It is important to note that Obama has been consistently less than true to his word when it comes to health care reform. Obama originally claimed to be against the individual mandate; now he is fighting to make sure it is included in the final bill--even though the all-important Olympia Snowe opposes the individual mandate. Obama promised not to tax employer provided health care benefits; now Peter Orszag claims it is a critical part of reform. Obama promised to allow drug re-importation and give Medicare the power to directly negotiate drug prices; several months ago, Obama made a secret deal with PhRMA in which he agreed to actively fight against both of these proposals. And, the president has clearly broken his promise about putting all the health care reform negotiations on C-SPAN. On issue after issue related to health care reform, Obama has, for all intents and purposes, lied.

All the evidence points to one simple conclusion: Obama does not truly support a strong public option.

Maybe Obama never really supported the idea of the public option because he thought it could not work. Maybe he sold it out as part of his still-secret deal with the hospital industry. Perhaps he promised some conservative Democrats in the House and/or Senate that he would kill the public option in exchange for them not criticizing health care reform. Months ago, Obama might have secretly promised Snowe veto power over any proposal if she agreed to support reform.

Regardless of why, Occam's razor dictates only one conclusion: Obama does not support--and likely never supported--a strong public option. There is no tangible evidence to support an alternative conclusion.

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