Barack Obama ran a perfectly astute campaign for President. How come healthcare reform has been screwed up so badly?
At this point, it’s not clear whether a healthcare reform bill will be passed at all. If one is passed, it’s not clear how much real reform the bill will contain.
Forget the totally inexplicable shenanigans of the Gang of Six. Forget the lucrative obstructionism of the Blue Dog Democrats. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t seem to support a real public option:
Discussing health care reform on a giant conference call with thousands of Nevadans, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., stressed he is in favor of a “public option,” which is a top priority for many Democrats.
But while Reid used the term “public option,” it wasn’t clear whether he supports a new government-run health insurance plan, similar to Medicare, that most liberals mean when they talk about what health care reform must accomplish.
He added that “a lot of people misunderstand” the public option as “some government run program.”
“But there are many ways we can do it,” he said. “One would be to have an entity like Medicare. I really don’t favor that. I think what we should have is a private entity that has direction from the federal government.”
How did one of Obama’s key legislative priorities come to this sorry, comical pass?