Over at the Huffington Post, in an attempt to defend Jim Messina, Robert Creamer reaches for the absolute biggest brush he can find to totally whitewash the actual history of the health care reform battle. From his blog post:
Messina is sometimes criticized by progressives for his management of the health care battle. Progressives like myself believe strongly that the Affordable Care Act would be better if it had included a Public Option. So, by the way, does Messina.
I personally would have preferred if the White House would have fought more forcefully for the public option.
But having been deeply involved in the health care battle working with Americans United for Change and Health Care for America Now (HCAN), I’m not sure we could have gotten a Public Option no matter what the president did or did not do. The Senate filibuster, the health insurance lobby, and Senator Lieberman were our chief obstacles.
Wrong on two counts.
The problem for the public option wasn’t that the president didn’t fight hard enough for it. It’s failure to make it into the law was the result of President Obama actively fighting hard against it, while lying about this support. It was confirmed by the New York Times that President Obama sold out the public option in a deal with the hospitals in exchange for their support of the law. His many behind-the-scenes efforts to undercut it shows he was committed to the secret deal.
In the end, it was fully proven without a doubt that the filibuster wasn’t ever a real obstacle to the public option. The Affordable Care Act was finished with a reconciliation bill that can’t be filibustered and could have included a deficit-reducing public option. The fact that it didn’t speaks volumes
If we are going to have a real debate about the future of progressive actions we first need to put an end to what has become a persistent attempt to totally re-write the history of recent fights.