Critical Condition

Pelosi’s Warning

The Politico reports that Nancy Pelosi has “warned insurance companies to accept a public option without a trigger, arguing that a public plan triggered by high premiums or other insurer bad behavior would be much harsher than one negotiated now.” Pelosi’s quote was: “They’d be better getting a public option now. . . . They’ll have a tougher public option to deal with later.”  

 

If there is a trigger approach, in which poor performance in the health system “triggers” a public option at some point down the road, it is just a deferred version of the public option. Any Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats thinking that a trigger gets them off the hook for supporting an unpopular government-run health plan should take Pelosi’s quote to heart. 

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide. His latest book is Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.