Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Public Option: Off Again, On Again...Which Is It?

It was only last Sunday that the White House apparently signaled it would abandon the so-called "public option" from the health care "reform". After the (old) new resolve, seemingly, to go it alone which emerged just yesterday, now the "public option" is back on again.

The White House Press Secretary blames it on media's misunderstanding the President's words. (Mais bien sûr. Aber natürlich. Ma naturalmente. 当然.)


"WASHINGTON -- The White House fell into full retreat yesterday from its earlier surrender of Democratic plans for a massive new government-run insurance agency as part of its health-care reform bid.

"The Obama administration now says it remains fully behind the idea of a "public option" for government-run insurance, despite clear signals over the weekend from top officials that the public option is not a deal-breaker and is just a "sliver" of the overall reforms it seeks.

"White House spokesman Robert Gibbs blamed the media for misunderstanding the administration's support.

""The president prefers the public option as a way of doing that," he said. "If others have ideas, we're open to those ideas and willing to listen to those details. That's what the president has said for months."

"The public-health option would be a federally run health-insurance program, similar to Medicare or Medicaid, that would provide insurance to millions of low-income and uninsured Americans. Supporters believe it would compete with private insurers, forcing them to lower prices."[emphasis is mine]

Medicare and Medicaid are broke, if we care to recall.

How could these supporters believe the government-run program would compete with private insurers, when the President himself compares the government-run program with United States Postal Service?? Since when USPS is a competitive, viable service? (Answer: never.)

Here's an article from Bloomberg on Obama going postal:

Obama Goes Postal, Lands in Dead-Letter Office: Caroline Baum (8/18/09 Bloomberg) [emphasis is mine]

"Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” -- Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

"No institution has been the butt of more government- inefficiency jokes than the U.S. Postal Service. Maybe the Department of Motor Vehicles...."

"That didn’t stop President Barack Obama from holding up the post office as an example at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last week.

"When Obama compared the post office to UPS and FedEx, he was clearly hoping to assuage voter concerns about a public health-care option undercutting and eliminating private insurance.

"What he did instead was conjure up visions of long lines and interminable waits. Why do we need or want a health-care system that works like the post office?

"What’s more, if the USPS is struggling to compete with private companies, as Obama implied, why introduce a government health-care option that would operate at the same disadvantage?"

You can read the rest of the article by following the above link.

(One of the favorite antics of the local post office in my area seems to be to close one or two of the 4 windows when the line is the longest, around noon-time. So the postal workers get their deserved lunch break on time, and the customers get their deserved wait doubled.)


Post a Comment