Imagine for a moment you’re President Barack Obama.
Health care reform, with a strong public plan option, is your number one priority. And you’re close to achieving your goal. Your legislation has already passed the House and a similar bill is pending on the floor of the Senate.
So, you go up to the Senate to meet with Senate Democrats. This is your best, last chance to get what you want.
Don’t you think you’d tell them how essential the public plan option is? How this was something you really wanted in the final bill?
Of course, you would. But, instead, President Obama said nothing about it. NOTHING.
Now imagine for a moment that you’re Senator Ben Nelson, or Mary Landrieu, or Blanche Lincoln. You’re opposed to the public option, and you’ve been taking a lot of flack for it. You listen to the president make his pitch – and he doesn’t even mention the public option.
What message do you take away from that? You can only conclude (1) that Obama really doesn’t care about the public option, after all; and (2) that he’ll sign any health care bill – even one without a public option.
Given President Obama’s silence, looks to me like we can kiss the public plan option – good-bye.
That’s my parting shot for today.