My, my. Now we’re going to argue about whether or not the President promised a public option while he was on the campaign trail. He says he did not. He is technically correct. He is always very careful to be technically correct. He is a very slippery eel about being technically correct. He did not promise a “public option” on the campaign trail, because the phrase had not been coined yet – NOT ONE SINGLE candidate used the phrase, either in a positive or a negative way, because no-one invented the term until the members of Congress actually started working on the various bills.
He DID promise he would only sign a bill which contained a public option, but that remark was not made on the campaign trail, it was made after he entered the White House. Technicalities; see how they work?
Here is an example of what he was promising on the campaign trail, from a typical speech made by Obama, the candidate:
“Well, we’re here today because we know that if we’re going to make real progress, this time must be different. Throughout my career, in Illinois and the United States senate, I’ve worked to reduce the power of the special interests by leading the fight for ethics reform. I’ve sent a strong signal in this campaign by refusing the contributions of registered federal lobbyists and PACs. And today, I’m announcing that going forward, the Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard and won’t take another dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. They do not fund my campaign. They will not fund our party. And they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I’m President of the United States.
“It’s time to finally challenge the special interests and provide universal health care for all. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States – because I believe that health care should be guaranteed for every American who wants it and affordable for every American who needs it.”
This is what he was running on – universal health care. Free from corporate interests. Guaranteed for all Americans.
Universal health care is so far superior to a “public option”, such a sweeping promise, that the pundits should be damned for even quibbling over whether or not he used the words “public option” on the campaign trail. Where the hell is our “universal health care?”, is what I want to know.
And, of course, the repeated promise to end the stranglehold of the special interests over health care – the insurance and pharma corporations – was broken as soon as he stepped into the White House and invited them to “do lunch”.
Nah, he didn’t promise a public option while campaigning. He promised it after the election. (And intends to break that promise; he has already said he would sign the Senate version of the bill, which contains no public option.) He did promise universal health care free of influence from the big companies. And broke both those promises in one fell swoop shortly after elected.
Update: Now Mr. Obama promises he will “roll up his sleeves”, “get to work”, and “help” Reid and Pelosi “hammer out a compromise” between the Senate and House bills. God help us, more “hammering” and “working”? More “compromising”? What are they going to add to it now? Maybe repeal the votes for women and blacks? Re-enact prohibition? Insert an amendment that if election day falls on, say, a Tuesday, you can only vote Republican? Hopefully, he’ll break this promise, too, and stay the hell away. Congress has made enough of a joke of this all by themselves and it’s fairly clear what Obama’s idea of help is.