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Perpetuating the public option hoax

DCblogger's picture

There is no public option.

Chris Bowers

We have been counting votes here on Open Left. With the addition of Senator Inoyue this morning, there are now 25 Senators on the record as favoring passing a public option through reconciliation. Tom Carper is about ready to make it 26. Six are opposed, and six others are likely supporters.

Since there is no proposed legislative language, there is no public option and these Senators have not made any pledge that they can be held accountable for. When you are working for legislation you must first have legislation to work for. That not a single senator has proposed public option language is a strong sign that the whole thing is a wild goose chase.

Now I can see how in January of 2009 people could have fallen for this. After all, we all know that you usually have to start small and work your way to something big, so going after the public option instead of what you really want makes intuitive sense.

But at this late date to continue to lead readers down the garden path is wrong. Just fundamentally wrong. The country wants Medicare for All, only Versailles wants an insurance company bail out. Netroots could be rallying their readers against a monstrous attack on our collective purse to bail out a bunch of parasites with a failing business model. Instead they insist on doing vote counts for mythical legislation.

No votes yet


Submitted by Anne on

public option as "Harvey," the 6-foot rabbit that only Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) could see...


Elwood P. Dowd is an endlessly pleasant & delightfully eccentric bachelor living in a small town that isn't quite aware that its newest citizen is a 6'3" white rabbit named "Harvey," that only certain people can see. After supposedly meeting this rabbit - its origins attributed to the Celtic legend of the Pooka - Dowd's sanity is put into question by his equally eccentric sister.

Elwood casually drives her guests from their house by introducing and carrying on one-sided conversations with his invisible and silent friend. His sister and her daughter, (Elwood's Niece) resort to taking him to the local sanitarium to have him committed. However, owing to people not paying attention, interrupting, and cutting Elwood off as he is about to introduce his imaginary friend, it doesn't imediately appear that there is anything wrong with him, although the examining doctor is sure he is doing the right thing by admitting him..

Elwood is carted upstairs by a rough-handed and simple-minded man in the white coat while the examining doctor ushers the sister into the head psychiatrist's --Dr. Chumley's-- office to give a description of the problem. As Elwood is "escorted" to hydrotherapy, he tells the man in the white coat his friend "Harvey" is a "Pooka" The Aide later looks up the definition in the dictionary: "Celtic mythology, a miscihevous spirit that takes animal form and appears sometimes to some people for the purpose of doing this and that."

As the sister, still highly upset over Elwood driving off her friends, bemoans Elwood's delusions to Dr. Chumley, her frazzled manner and insistence that Elwood actually does have a six foot 3 inch invisible rabbit for a friend convinces Chumley it is she, not Elwood, who is hallucinating.

So...if the public option is "Harvey," then that would make Chris Bowers...Elwood?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Elwood didn't profit and aggrandize himself by denying lifesaving medical and economic relief -- and honest discourse -- to countless people. But I haven't seen it in a while...

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

and Harvey was real. He opened doors, lifted gates and changed text in a dictionary. Also, Elwood's psychiatrist ended up being able to see him.

Elwood was one of the only ones who could see Harvey because Harvey was a mischievous spirit, not because Harvey didn't exist.

Seems to me we are the Elwoods, single-payer is Harvey, and the "public option" pushers are the ones who can't see him.

Submitted by Anne on

It's been a while since I've seen the movie, so my comparison probably suffered for it.

Kind of ironic, isn't it, that closing one's eyes allows one to see something that isn't there (PO) and prevents one from seeing something that is (SP).

khin's picture
Submitted by khin on

...would recognize this. I spent most of tonight battling PO people who have been indoctrinated by the editors' obsessive focus!

Submitted by jawbone on

He said several times that without real reform (and his ideas of reform are not Medicare for All, afaik) American middle class will be impoverished by health care costs and lose their standard of living.

Now, truth time: I was watching the annotated rebroadcast of last week's Lost, so caught only a bit of the program.


Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for NPR.

Uwe Reinhardt, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. You can read his latest health care analysis at the New York Times “Economix” blog.

Wendell Potter, former executive for the health care services company CIGNA. He’s now a senior fellow on health care for the Center for Media and Democracy. You can read his latest take at his blog.

Potter was much harder on the BHIPs (Big Health Insurance Parasites) than Reinhardt, of course.

Audio for program here. Can't find transcript, but comments are interesting and, uh, diverse.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

that the "health care economics experts" Krugman has been listening to (so he remains convinced that even the Senate bill would be better than nothing) consist of his Princeton colleague Uwe Reinhardt and... Uwe Reinhardt.

And some interesting information about Krugman's personal/political history in the New Yorker (h/t campskunk at Alegre's place)