When it comes to the controversial public insurance option, Snowe is a proponent of a “trigger,” making the public plan an option only if other reforms failed. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), another key moderate, has warned his caucus not to brush aside Snowe — and her trigger proposal — as the debate deepens.
“I think we as Democrats will rue the day if we don’t find a thoughtful way to make sure that Sen. Snowe’s central premise, perhaps modified ... finds a home in the legislation that we finally vote on,” Carper said earlier this month.
It sounds like Carper is pushing for the caucus to support his “Plan B.” An idea which is even worse than Snowe's original trigger proposal. It would be a trigger for an extremely weak, state-based, co-op-like, non-profit insurance entity.
That should really scare the large private insurance companies into cleaning up their act and reducing premiums. What large corporation wouldn't quiver at the thought of facing competition from such a crippled entity?
Senate Democrats are going to rue that day if they sellout the over 80% of their base that supports a public option in order to win the support of one single Republican. Snowe's support is not needed and the Democrats don't need to compromise on the issue of a public option. The Senate Democrats can always pass a real public option using reconciliation, the “nuclear option,” or even by enforcing some basic party discipline. If Harry Reid chooses to betray the Democratic base by listening to Sen. Carper it will create a lot of anger among rank and file party members. What Democrats in Congress should be worried about is that a lot of their voters will just stay home come election day. It is hard to motivate anyone to turn out for a congressperson if the congressperson sold them out merely for political expedience.