The White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been engaged in a game of kill the public option hot potato for awhile. Now, there seems to be some efforts to possibly blame the failure of the public option on the House Democrats. Clearly, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wants no part of the blame, and has passed the hot potato right back to the White House and Senate Democrats. After all, the House did pass the public option once already. (Via TPM)
“I think the public option can pass in the House. But it’s not in the President’s proposal,” Hoyer said in response to a question from TPM.
“I think it is obviously an item the President has decided–he was for the public option as well–decided is not something that perhaps the Senate can buy,” he said.
The public option is incredibly popular with the American people, supported overwhelming by the Democratic base, and is fiscally conservative. It is good politics, good policy, and maybe the only hope of turning around health care reform’s awful poll numbers. The only problem is that lobbyists from private insurance companies don’t like it, and Democrats have decided it is infinitely more important to keep a few lobbyists happy, instead of delivering on promises to constituents.
So, the public option hot potato game continues, and Democrats slowly destroy any hope of keeping control of the House or the Senate in a misguided, Alamo-style defense of the private insurance industry. At least Congressional Democrats will go down fighting for what they believe in: protecting unpopular, large, private corporations from competition, or anything that would help regular Americans save money.