Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama Did NOT Campaign on Public Option

As someone who has watched every media interview and campaign speech and every Obama speech once he was elected President (all of his speeches are posted on this blog), I know that Obama didn't campaign on the public option, contrary to Ezra Klein's opinion:
Oy. I'll defend the argument that the health-care bill that looks likely to pass is structurally similar to the health-care proposal released by the Obama campaign. But it's impossible to defend Obama's statement that "I didn't campaign on the public option." For one thing, it was in his campaign plan, which is to say, he campaigned on it. The proposal (pdf) assured voters that Obama's plan will "establish a new public insurance program available to Americans who neither qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP nor have access to insurance through their employers." WaPo
Klein is violating the spirit of Obama's intentions. The "public insurance program" in Obama's campaign PDF is not the same as today's current public option. Media people like to manipulate information to meet their preconceived notions. In this case, Klein is trying to give an example as to why the left is losing faith in Obama:
And it's a good example of why the left is losing its trust in Obama.
I am so tired of the manipulations by the left and right media. Ideology, people set in their ways, is why things don't get done in Washington. As someone who doesn't subscribe to any ideology, it's easy to see what's going on here. A lot of people on the left propped Obama up to be what they wanted him to be. Same for the right. The wingnuts are just in outer space with their far out preconceived ideas.

In fact, Obama's never advocated strongly for the public option in its current form because he saw it as ONE way to meet his goals, not the only way. He has received a lot of criticism for not insisting on the public option as we know it. I think Obama recognized early on that the public option in its current form would be a political football between the left and the right. If so much attention hadn't been paid to the public option, health care might be further along. But as usual, the left and the right decided to make political mincemeat of it, which served as a distraction. Here we are with the left-most media still politicizing the public option.