White House Open to Deal on Public Health Plan. Of course they are.
It is more important that health-care legislation inject stiff competition among insurance plans than it is for Congress to create a pure government-run option, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Monday.

"The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest," he said in an interview. "The goal is non-negotiable; the path is" negotiable.

...Mr. Emanuel said one of several ways to meet President Barack Obama's goals is a mechanism under which a public plan is introduced only if the marketplace fails to provide sufficient competition on its own. He noted that congressional Republicans crafted a similar trigger mechanism when they created a prescription-drug benefit for Medicare in 2003. In that case, private competition has been judged sufficient and the public option has never gone into effect.

Mr. Obama has pushed hard for a vigorous public option. But he has also said he won't draw a "line in the sand" over this point.
So, the relevant comparison is the ginormous gift to Big Pharma that was the '03 prescription drug plan? That piece of shit legislation resoundingly cited as one of the US government's biggest sell-outs ever to its corporate bankrollers? The one that it was just reported less than a week ago has increased out-of-pocket spending on drugs? Awesome.

Digby says wryly, "It's always possible that Emanuel is playing 45 dimensional chess. Gosh I sure do hope so." Snort. Yeah, gosh, me too.

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