Hope, Yes; Audacity, Not Yet

Dearie me!  Is it just a slow news day, so Huffington Post leads its website with the story that President Obama is NOT in support of a public option, or is this supposition actually true?  Should my dander be raised even more than usual, or should I accept this pronouncement as merely Huffington Posts’s shot at creating dander-raising news to fill its 24/7 entertainment cycle?  Here is the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/24/leaderless-senate-pushes_n_332844.html

Let us consider the possibilities.

1.  Regarding health care reform, President Obama has always tossed the ball into Congress’s court.  They, after all, are our elected legislators, the voice of the people.  Further, the President doesn’t want to suffer the political fallout if the public option should fail.  Having the public option as the mainstay of reform is imperative, but it WILL fail, or at least be meaningless, if a STRONG option is not part of the bill.  To pass reform with a weak, wishy-washy public option is worse than no such program at all.  So Mr. President, public option or not, the reflection will still be totally focused on YOU.

2.  Maybe President Obama’s ultimate goal is to let a weak (or none at all) option pass, so that the writing on the wall, i.e. what we REALLY need, namely universal, single payer, government-run health care, will eventually pass.  This same CNN article reports that the President is actually in favor of the trigger in place of the public option: give the insurance industry five years to make changes and then, if they do not step up to the plate, an automatic trigger of a public option will fall into place.  PUH-LEESE! That is identical to caving in and allowing the insurers five more years of  their greed, corruption and self-serving policies.  The President has a fair shot of still being in office in five years, so maybe he figures that by allowing an inadequate reform bill to currently pass, he will have more ammunition in five years for the real deal  if the trigger is activated.  WRONG. Oh so wrong!  We do not need five more years of this insanity to ultimately prove that President Obama is correct in his initial belief that we need universal coverage.  That would be five more years of cutting off his nose to spite his face.

3.  I am trying to make sense out of the fact, that according to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, we are only a couple of votes away from a decent public option yet President Obama has not firmly gotten behind this provision.  Wasn’t the public option his idea in the first place?   Where is his allegiance to getting help for our people rather than fulfilling his political agenda?  We have the hope, now where the hell is the audacity?

So please help me out here.  I have more confidence in President Obama than my above objections would lead you to believe.  I do not think that he is really gaming the system.  However, if what Huffington Post reports today is true (and I honestly must admit that I have not seen any similar stories on any other news site), what could possibly be the rationale behind the President’s behavior?  Am I being just as premature, inflammatory and wrong as Huffington Post is in reacting to their “story”?  But if Huffington Post does have the goods on this, Man oh Manischewitz: we are only one or two votes away from a viable public option and the President is not going after securing those votes?  What is really happening here?

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