The White House and Senate Democrats won’t buckle to demands from liberals that they revise their health care strategy, officials said today.
Liberals are demanding the inclusion of a public plan. The White House won’t "revise" their strategy to accommodate them.
The attempt to attract GOP support was the pretext which Democrats used to compromise continuously and water down the bill. But — given the impossibility of achieving that goal — isn’t it fairly obvious that a desire for GOP support wasn’t really the reason the Democrats were constantly watering down their own bill? Given the White House’s central role in negotiating a secret deal with the pharmaceutical industry, its betrayal of Obama’s clear promise to conduct negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN no less), Rahm’s protection of Blue Dogs and accompanying attacks on progressives, and the complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists "centrists," it seems rather clear that the bill has been watered down, and the "public option" jettisoned, because that’s the bill they want — this was the plan all along.
Max Baucus (who is negotiating the White House’s bill) today reaffirmed his commitment to have a "bipartisan" bill. Since Republicans will never sign off on a public plan, that’s not-so-subtle code for "no public plan." And any time anyone says that, including President Obama, that is in fact what they’re saying.