President Obama did all the Sunday morning talk shows, as part of a ramped-up campaign to promote his sincere if ill-defined belief that health care should be reformed, and he continued to argue, albeit tepidly, that this reform probably needs to include a public option.
Obama was smooth and smart and presidential and the appearances on ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNN’s “State of the Union” and on the Spanish-language Univision network will undoubtedly aid his personal approval ratings.
But these exercises in pulled punches and anti-government apologia will do little to advance the cause of genuine health care reform.
Indeed, as Obama describes his notion of a public option, it is so constrained, under-funded and uninspired in approach as to be dysfunctional.
While there is no question that the right reform remains a single-payer “Medicare for All” system that provides quality care for all Americans while eliminating insurance company profiteering, if the best that can be hoped for is a government-supported alternative to the corporate options, then it should be robust enough to compete.
Grijalva says, “The CPC will do its best to ensure that the public option is as close to Medicare as we can get it.”
To that end, he says caucus members will use their key committee positions and needed votes to promote “a robust public option” that:
* Enacts concurrently with other significant expansions of coverage and must not be conditioned on private industry actions.
* Consists of one entity, operated by the federal government, which sets policies and bears the risk for paying medical claims to keep administrative costs low and provide a higher standard of care.
* Be made available to all individuals and employers across the nation without limitation.
* Allows patients to have access to their choice of doctors and other providers that meet defined participation standards, similar to the traditional Medicare model, promotes the medical home model and eliminates lifetime caps on benefits.