Maybe–my last post notwithstanding–the White House will be perfectly happy to send Kent Conrad a Christmas card this year. After all, it may well be that he is helping the White House climb down from its earlier insistence on the public option:
Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday said private insurers would face competition under the Obama administration’s health plan, but that an alternative option wouldn’t necessarily have to be government run.
“I think what’s important is choice and competition, and I’m convinced at the end of the day, the plan will have both of those,” said Ms. Sebelius, speaking Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.” A federal government-run alternative plan is not the “essential element.”
The issue has emerged as a political sticking point as the Obama administration intensifies its efforts to build support in Congress, and among the American public, for legislation to overhaul the health-care system. President Barack Obama has said he would like a public plan to compete with private ones, but the idea has run into strong opposition from insurance companies, Republicans and others.
Ms. Sebelius’s comments left open the door to the idea of having nonprofit cooperatives serve as an alternative to private plans. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and others in the Senate have backed such an approach.
And more. I guess that the netroots and the liberal base shouldn’t just be mad at Kent Conrad. They should be mad at the Obama Administration as well.
And perhaps, it should come as no surprise that they would have reason to be angry. Barack Obama, after all, is not the Messiah. He is just another politician, and as such, he will be willing to betray his base as eagerly as other Democrats have been in the past.