“Change you can believe in” officially died yesterday.
Actually, I can thing of a number of pithy comments/titles: President Obama has his Bill Clinton “it depends on what is is” Moment, or President Obama is Officially in Sarah Palin Territory, or The Right Hates You, and Left is Disgusted, Independents are Leaving in Droves…GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
During an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, President Obama stated “I didn’t campaign on the public option.”
After reading those words, I had to sit down and take a minute. I was actually physically ill. Suddenly, I had numerous flashbacks of the hours spent watching campaign coverage including the debates, candidate Obama’s speeches, and all that political analysis. Am I crazy? Did I just invent a candidate who prided himself on standing up for “average” Americans? Did I conjure up the defense against Hillary Clinton’s health care plan that mandates can’t work because people can’t afford them and that a PUBLIC PLAN would allow all Americans to purchase affordable health care? After the nausea wore off, then intense anger kicked in. Oh, now I see, he is doing that cutesy lawyer thing.
So after the left collectively got over the shock of being shaken to their very core, it only took a few minutes for those rapid-fire fact-checking blog posts to appear to dispute that unbelievable outrageous claim by the President (you remember, Mr. President, all those fact-checking blogs that helped save you from the continuous assault from the right during your campaign.) Daily Kos: here and here. Huffingtonpost: here and here.
While I was writing this post, I was still seeing red and included an excerpt from TomP’s DK post, but much of his argument was related to President Obama use of “public option” during the 2009 health care debate. Post has been revised to include the use of “public option” during the presidential campaign.**
The most concise argument was found in the post on DK by slinderwick:
“Essentially . . we’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services.” (7/17/07)
September 2008: Then-Candidate Obama’s Health Care Proposal Included A New Public Plan And Health Insurance Exchange. The Columbus Dispatch reported…”Although Obama would not require adults to have insurance, he would mandate that large businesses either provide coverage to their employees or pay into a new public plan through which anyone without coverage could buy it…Key to Obama’s plan is creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange in which private insurers would offer coverage as generous as the government’s plan.”
October 2008: Then-Candidate Obama’s Public Option Discussed On NPR. During an October 20, 2008 interview on NPR, Trudy Lieberman, Director of the Health and Medicine Reporting Program at New York City University, said:”I think we can say that there are really two key aspects of Obama’s plan. One is that he would expand Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan, which was a program set up by Congress about a decade ago. The second part is something that’s a little bit nebulous right now and that’s called his public option.”
Those who most fervently supported the President throughout the campaign were hit the hardest.
This has been coming for the last few months. The White House has repeatedly stated that President supported the public option while simultaneously deriding liberals for their strong support of the PO. During the summer and fall, the Congress was just waiting for the President to push the PO so they could follow his lead, but he refused. Not to mention the numerous “anonymous” leaks from the administration ridiculing progressive bloggers…that was both childish and transparent.
I could support the President if he had REALLY tried to get the public option but stopped once he realized he couldn’t get the votes OR if he had just been honest during the campaign OR if he had said at the beginning of the health care debate that he was not supporting the public plan.
I want to blame myself for falling for the okey-doke. But hey, I’m human, right?
Of course, we have video, “Obama Promised”: