The public option is far from all that is wrong with Obamacare. But it is a big chunk of the problem, and it looks like POTUS is ready to traverse a different course. From the story:
Aides to President Barack Obama are putting the final touches on a new strategy to help Democrats recover from a brutal August recess by specifying what Obama wants to see in a compromise health care deal and directly confronting other trouble spots, West Wing officials tell POLITICO. Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said…
Well, that seems awfully passive. But apparently it means the president is ready to see that part of Obamacare go:
On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done. “We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”
Of course, the where of the there remains crucial. But if Obama is truly going to give here and not play another Washington DC game of redefinition and smoke and mirrors, perhaps something can be crafted that expands access to health coverage without destroying Hippocratic values. We will also see whether the Left really wants to improve people’s ability to gain access to care or just win ideological battles.