It’s hard to say where the Democrats are on the “public option” at the moment. Over the weekend, the Obama administration signaled that it was open to dropping that piece of the health care “reform” plan. The result was substantial push-back from the party’s left wing, with some Congressmen saying that 100 liberal Democrats in the House will refuse to support the bill if the public option is removed. Whether the administration returns to the public option, tries to replace it with “coops” or tries some other approach remains to be seen.
It’s easy to understand why the administration may be rethinking its stance. Rasmussen finds that without a public option, “enthusiasm for health care reform, especially among Democrats, collapses.” Basically, by eliminating the public health insurance plan the Democrats would negate much of their base’s enthusiasm for revamping the health care system without gaining commensurate support from Republicans and independents, and without mitigating much of the opposition to their plans.
So for now, at least, the Democrats are between a rock and a hard place.
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