Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fate of the Public Option

What used to the key element of Obama health care reform is ready to be chloroformed by the President with Sen. Olympia Snowe standing by to assist him in the procedure.

The anesthetic is Snowe's "trigger mechanism" that would give insurance companies a defined period to make changes to cover more people and drive down costs. But if changes failed to occur, the "trigger" would be pulled, creating a public option to force change on the insurers.

In the Senate Finance Committee, Snowe is the last Republican straw the White House can grasp for the appearance of bipartisanship as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel promises the President will be “more prescriptive than he has been to date” in his address to Congress next week.

But with opposition rising and approval ratings falling, the new politics of Barack Obama is looking more and more like the usual Washington game of settling for half a loaf or less with both sides declaring victory.

Meanwhile, the beat of the public debate goes as a 65-year-old backer of Obama health care is disqualified from expressing an opinion on the trigger mechanism by having his finger bitten off by an opponent during a rally in California. No word on whether Medicare or private insurance will pay the medical bills.

1 comment:

libhom said...

The trigger does nothing about HMOs denying life saving care to people who have "coverage."