October 26th, 2009
11:46 AM ET
5 years ago

White House uses blog to emphasize support for public option

(CNN) – The White House and Congressional Democrats are feeling the heat from liberal Democrats, who are demanding that a federally-funded insurance program be a key component of health care reform.

An Obama administration official took to the official White House blog late Sunday evening to emphasize the president's preference for a public option and to silence any suggestions otherwise.

The White House Blog

The Public Option: Rumor Check

Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on October 25, 2009 at 08:56 PM EDT

A rumor is making the rounds that the White House and Senator Reid are pursuing different strategies on the public option. Those rumors are absolutely false.

In his September 9th address to Congress, President Obama made clear that he supports the public option because it has the potential to play an essential role in holding insurance companies accountable through choice and competition. That continues to be the President's position.

Senator Reid and his leadership team are now working to get the most effective bill possible approved by the Senate. President Obama completely supports their efforts and has full confidence they will succeed and continue the unprecedented progress that is being made in both the House and Senate.

Dan Pfeiffer is Deputy Communications Director

The White House blog posting did little to mollify Adam Green, cofounder of the liberal political advocacy organization Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Green's group is advocating for the public option and has targeted individual lawmakers with television ads in their home states urging them to support it.

"Expressing a preference for the public option is not the same as fighting for the public option," Green wrote on the blog openleft.com . "Telling Harry Reid 'good luck with that' is not the same as the president saying, 'I am there helping Reid fight for those final votes.'"

Follow Mark Preston Twitter: @prestoncnn


Filed under: Health care • Obama administration
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. kj

    If the public option can fund itself without adding to our national debt then I am all for competition, however if you can't manage the systems corruption then what?

    October 26, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Ron In California

    So...let's figure this out

    You get up everyday...go to work, work hard, save money, pay taxes. you earn more than I do so you have more.
    I get up everyday....go to work, work hard, spend all my money, pay taxes but I don't have quite as much as you.
    Our neighbor, never holds a steady job, lives on the dole, doesn't save money, doesn't pay taxes. Doesn't have anything.

    So now I have to pay health care costs for both of you and the guy in the middle pays for the guy at the bottom, This makes us equal by redistributing wealth. HUH!

    Actually, what this does is disincent those in the top, middle and bottom. Why should I work harder to give it away to those below and why should those below work harder to pull themselves up when someone else pays?

    This form of economics was tried the Soviet Union...we all know what happened there.

    October 26, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Debbie

    The majority of the people want a public option because the insurance companies are a monopoly.

    If you are a capitalist then you believe in the free market and competition.

    A public option forces the insurance industry to compete. They would rather buy off politicians than compete and that is not Capitolism!

    October 26, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    Contrary to what you may read here in some of the comments, the majority of Americans want a public option. It will force the health insurance companies to lower premiums or go out of business. Don't be fooled by all the protesting from these companies. Most of them will not only stay in business, they will still make a profit. Just not an obscene profit.

    October 26, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Doug, New Jersey

    Fair competition huh? The private sector has to compete against a government entity that gets to make up the rules for everyone as it goes along, and gets to carelessly waste an unlimited cash flow of tax payer wealth, without ever being held accountable.

    Just think of what we could do for the REAL AMERICANS who truly can't get health care if we could use all the money extorted over to Obama's ACORN and other leftist groups and unions, and used that money for those American's treatment?

    What if all the libs who have commited fraud through medicare were stopped? What if the trial lawyers who run the Democrat party had their liberal lottery haulted with tort reform? What if insurance companies could compete across state lines?

    The true motives of Democrats like Obama are in direct contradiction with the desire to give all Americans competent and affordable health care.

    October 26, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. southerncousin

    Is blog the same as spreading the lie by internet?

    October 26, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Stong Public Option

    Small Business here,

    cant get off the ground, costs too heavy.

    Yes to Strong Public Option

    Yes to regulation, yes to fairness.

    Want more?

    Vote yes to a Strong Public Option and use your profits to go to mexico excesive treatment.

    October 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Joe in DE

    There will never be competition among private insurance companies as long as they are not required to offer identical basic coverage with any added cost add-on they wish.

    October 26, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I am disappointed with a public option that will leave it up to the individual states to decide. Since I live in a Red state and know there is little concern here for the health of it's people, I know that a public option will not be available here or in other states where much of the poverty of this country exists, lack of jobs, lack of employment based health care, lack of compeition and lack of political will to provide health care. What kind of health care reform is this? Please push for a real change in this country's idea of equal access to health care, the same access that Congress enjoys,

    October 26, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Voted4HealthCare

    It is good to see the administration continuing their support for the public option, which is backed by the majority of Americans.

    A blog is good way to communicate, but an active assertion by President Obama would also be helpful ensure a strong public option through the reasonable, opt-out compromise.

    October 26, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. ...

    Have your public option, but when I choose to stick with my current provider (because I am responsible enough to get my own insurance) don't tax the hell out of me so that I can pay for everyone that is to lazy to get insurance and pay for my own on top of that. That is not fair.

    I agree that we need some kind of reform, but having the government supply healthcare isn't the kind of reform that we need.

    October 26, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Bluebonnet

    IF the government would just spend the time and money spent on trying to push a public option down taxpayers' throats and fix MEDICARE scams and ruination, we would all be far better off! It is absurd what goes on with Medicare fraud, right under Nobama's nose too!

    October 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    6%? who cares? Hey geniuses...the profit margin is net of salaries (not to mention self-reported by the insurance industry), so your talking point is complete garbage when you look at the complete picture. The top 17 health insurance CEOs raked in well over approximately $250M in the aggregate last year...that's just 17 people...and I guarantee you they're not the only ones squatting on $30K toilets. Moreover, a static 6% profit margin while premiums have skyrocketed just PROVES THE ENTIRE POINT THAT THEY ARE BLOATED, INEFFICIENT REPOSITORIES OF BUREAUCRATIC MESS. Have a nice day!

    October 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. John L. NYC

    I voted for Obama but this article points to a larger issue, the guy can't make a decision or take a firm stand on anything to save his life. You can't be all things to all people – his idol, Lincoln lived by that and Obama should try that coat on for size. Stop campaigning and start leading.

    I'm one of those independents everyone talks about that he carried because he ran on a more centrist platform and am also one of those that is having buyers-remorse (although admittedly i couldn't imagine a McCain/Palin White House). He's lost a lot of confidence from people like me. Including for this health care plan – it has more holes than swiss cheese, particularly in how it is going to get paid for. And, as many here have posted, the government has a HORRIBLE track record managing and budgeting for consumer services: Medicare/Medicade, Social Security the Post Office all the way down to the DMV (yes, i know states run that – but it's emblematic of gov't mgmt.). The public option is a slippery slope from which there is no climbing back up (why wouldn't people get on if its so much cheaper and promises – incorrectly – excellent care?). Over the long term, the system will become bigger, overrun with service problems and understaffed, over red-taped just like all of the others. Come on folks, we've seen this movie before.

    October 26, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Chipster

    Health insurance companies have some of the highest paid executives in the nation. But that is not the issue. 2% to 7% profits may not seem like a huge margin but consider that the costs to small businesses haven't risen by 7% or anywhere close. My organization's health insurance costs increases this year by 84% -84% !!!

    Small businesses cannot continue to cover those increases and employees cannot pay it on their salaries. layoffs have increased significantly over the past 6 years and people are unable to pay for coverage. The number of bankruptcies and homeless have increased dramatically due to health related costs.

    The situation is not sustainable. We must do something to curb costs.

    October 26, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Me, MN

    Health insurance premiums have gone up 131% since 1999 while benefits have been reduced. Last year, my annual family deductible was $3k. This open enrollment season, I see that next year, it will be $4050. We didn't get any raises this year, in light of the economy, we were told. How will we pay for this increase? We'll skip going to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. I work for one of the BIGGEST private, for profit health insurers in the country. Unless there is a public option, this what you can expect from your enployer. Maybe not this year, but soon. We need a public alternative to private health insurance.

    October 26, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Christian Values

    Keep it going! We MUST have a public option. It's the only way to keep the insurance companies from continuing to kill grandma and little timmy!

    The current health care system is nothing short of legalize mass genocide run and supported by a cult of domestic terrorists.

    October 26, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Moderate Democrat

    TORT reform is a morons solution to reform. All it does is safe guard incompetent doctors. Having tried it in Texas, it did nothing to lower the cost of health care. NADA. It saves doctors money, whom do NOT pass it on to the consumer.

    October 26, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. DAVE

    for those crying about health care-- get a job that has benefits and that will solve your problem.... oh wait, your president was supposed to create millions of jobs with the PORKULUS I mean stimulus.... What was it that Romer said? the stimulus package may boost the economy in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of next year but after that there will be no effect..... well I say they need to stop wasting our money on pet projects that do not create jobs....... write your president and tell him to get a clue and follow the republicans plan to create jobs and then you could get back or have health insurance through a nice new job... especially for those who have never had one before and enjoy living off the backs of the people who work day in and day out....

    October 26, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Patty of N.J.

    There will be a Public Option and for all of you nay sayers out there, THE PEOPLE WANT A PUBLIC OPTION. So, Kevin in Ohio and all of the rest of you whiners out there, suck it up. It will happen and it certainly is time that it does happen.
    BTW–Has anybody out there noticed how many names some of these idiots write under. Especially on the weekend. It is easy to make the connection if you really pay attention to their blogs. They try to be so smart but they always give themselves away. Ha! Ha!

    October 26, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Fnord-a-saurus Rex

    When are we gonna start putting people before profit?

    I think a little socailism would do this country some good.
    If we just stopped having a whole bunch of wars, we could give everybody healthcare forever. Probably feed the world too.

    Some one please explain to me why it's bad to help everybody out?
    Maybe I'm missing something.

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Victim of Obama Greed

    What do they care about Public support? This administration has shown they don't care about us, they only care about power and taking over. they will cram this crap down our throats, without our support, the support of the medical professionals. the only ones who support this are the ones who will pay nothing for it.

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Caesar the Great

    To the people using the social security arguement, are you kidding yourself? SS will be bankrupt within 10 years. Any program that gives more money out than what is taken in will cause problems. When 100% of people pay taxes then they can get access to our country. I think we should drug test everyone on any form of governmental assistance program.

    October 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Al California

    Is this president ever going to commit to something and stay with it? the only thing he's done consistently is lie, mislead, tell half-truths, smoke cigarettes, and contribute to global warming (every time he opens he mouth). He struts around the the new sheriff in town and tries to come across like he's unconcerned with all the problems around him (mostly his own staff). Unless he's impeached, we'll all have to tolerate him for another 3 years. If he really wants to make some progress, he should watch the evening "news" on Fox News, so he can get some idea of what's going on in the country, since he's not making any progress in stifling them. By the way, is the Attorney General awake? If Obomboso is mess with the freedom of the press, why isn't he being questioned about it?

    October 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Useyourbrain!!

    About that 6% (only) profit that health insurance companies make. I lived in Saratoga NY for several years. There is a home (?) on the Mohawak River that at the time belonged to someone affiliated with Blue Cross/Shield of NY. That home looked like Buckingham Palace.
    Just saying....

    October 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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