Well this is no surprise. Rahm says the
White House Rahm is open to dropping the public option. Gregg Sargent:
Did Rahm Emanuel privately signal to Democratic Senators that the White House is prepared to drop the public insurance option from health care reform in order to get a bill passed? Two Dem Senators now say Emanuel is signaling exactly that:
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met last night at the U.S. Capitol with Senate Democrats and told them Obama is “open to alternatives” to a new government insurance program in order to get legislation overhauling the health-care system to his desk, said Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota.
“His message was, it’s critical that you do this,” Conrad said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana said Emanuel urged the senators to seek Republican support and didn’t discourage them from pursuing the use of non-profit cooperatives, an idea Conrad has proposed.
That last line is key: The White House may be signaling that getting a public option is less important than winning bipartisan support. This would undercut Dems who want to bypass the GOP, arguing that bipartisanship as an end in itself isn’t as important as a public option.
If you want a public option you’re going to have to fight for it. You need to get on the phone and call progressive members of congress and ask them to pledge to vote AGAINST any healthcare bill that doesn’t have a robust public option.
Forty members of the House can stop any bill going through that doesn’t contain a public plan that is 1) available nationwide, 2) from day one and 3) answerable to Congress and the voters (the HCAN principles).
As Claire McCaskill said, it’s going to be an ugly fight.
If we want it, we can have it. But we’re going to have to work for it.