by TeresaINPennsylvania, Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 09:56:06 AM EST
The majority of Americans want a public option and yet there is no public option in the healthcare bill. Why the hell not?
Here is why, back room deals between Obama and fpr profit hospital lobbies.Gee, who'd a thunk it?
The reason Robert Gibbs gives for President Obama's health care plan not including a public option -- that despite majority voter support, it can't get 51 Democratic votes in the Senate -- doesn't hold up. The real reason is that Obama made a backroom deal last summer with the for-profit hospital industry that there would be no meaningful public option.
This is one of the great under-reported stories of the health reform saga. Much has been written about the Obama administration's deal with big Pharma to continue to block Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices or to allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from Canada, in exchange for Pharma running pro-Democratic ads and giving campaign contributions to Democratic candidates. That's the reason, under pressure from the White House, that Senate Democrats voted down an amendment that would have allowed consumers to buy cheaper drugs from overseas.
But Obama's deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to insure there would be no public option has, as best I can tell, only been reported in two articles in The New York Times. On August 13, The Times reported that while President Obama had presented himself as "aloof from the legislative fray," particularly in connection with the public option, "Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Obama and advisors have been...negotiating deals with a degree of cold-eyed political realism potentially at odds with the president's rhetoric." One of the deals reported in The Times article was the Pharma deal. The other was a deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to limit its cost reductions to $155 billion over 10 years in exchange for a White House promise that there would be no meaningful public option.