Neuron Culture

A couple observers — one on Olbermann, one in a biz publication — think Baucus’s plan is so bad, and his dead-end path so disastrous, that it could generate a response that includes either a robust public option or even (longer-term) a single-payer plan. 

A ‘Gift’ for Insurance Industries … And Maybe for the Public Option?  On Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Wendell Potter, the former Vice President of Corporate Communications at health insurance company CIGNA, said the bill was so favorable to his former employers that it "looked at first like it might have been written by the lobbyists and the lawyers for the health insurance industry," except that "I don’t think they would have been quite this audacious." But here’s the flip side: the public option "is not dead," he observed, and "there may be so much outrage and pushback to this bill that it may give the public option a new lease on life."


Republicans: Take This While You Can. Vote Baucus. Joe Weisenthal is another that has taken the plan apart at length. Calling the bill "already DOA," he advised Republicans, as a "strategic move," to throw their weight behind Baucus’s proposal even though "it goes against Republican philosophy." Why? "Eventually, if current trends persist, it’s going to be easy to get a single-payer, universal healthcare bill passed, the likes of which is favored by the far left. … The Baucus plan," on the other hand, "is far from ideal, but if it passes, it’s likely that government-run health insurance will be dead." It "would take us down a totally different path."

Posted via email from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker


  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    September 17, 2009

    The problem with Joe Weisenthal’s advice is that it shows a poor understanding of the Republcans’ underlying motive. While it may seem like sensible advice assuming that the R’s primary goal is to prevent meaningful health care reform, that goal is in fact down a bit on their list. The Republicans want more than anything else to destroy Obama politically. There’s no way in H E double hockey sticks that they will give Obama anything that he can call a victory. If Obama gets to sign even a bad bill, he can declare victory and that will spell disaster for the R’s chances of regaining the House in 2010. We are virtually assured of absolutely no support from the right side of the aisle for any health care bill.

    I’m convinced that if a progressive Senator (such as Roland Burris) were to join a filibuster of a weak bill in order to try to force a public option, he can count on Republican cooperation with his gambit.

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