President Barack Obama has indicated a willingness to drop a government-run health care plan from any overhaul. The White House says that’s not a shift. Actually, it is.
Fierce proponents of a government-run health plan for months, Obama and senior administration officials, bowing to pressure from Republicans and skeptical voters, suggested that such a public option is not do-or-die.
“All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform,” the president told a town hall-style audience in Grand Junction, Colo., on Saturday. “This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.”
CLAIM: “I challenge you guys all to go back and see what we’ve said about this over the course of many, many, many, many months, and you’ll find a boring consistency to our rhetoric,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.
THE FACTS: During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said a new public plan should offer comprehensive insurance similar to that available to federal employees.
Really, it’s remarkable that we have to argue about this. Of course, non-profit co-ops are no better than the public option, but let’s stop pretending that there hasn’t been a change in White House rhetoric.