When the question is asked whether the Obama Administration are fools or liars—and a certain Chicago mayoral candidate is often nominated as both—you can be certain discussion of “the public option” will come up.
It doesn’t come up directly in today’s FT (page 4 of the print edition; no link; I get the paper edition, and there’s no relationship between the two*), but it certainly abides in the plan put forth by Paul Ryan (R-Innumeracy) to de-reform health care reform:
Congressman Paul Ryan…says he believes an arcane budgetary procedure known as reconciliation could be a vital tool for his party to scale back funding for some of the administration’s policies. Under congressional rules, bills passed under reconciliation—which must be related to budgetary issues—need only 51 votes to pass in the Senate.
It’s that self-same “arcane budgetary procedure ” that provided an opportunity to pass an initial health care reform bill with “the public option.” Strangely—feel free to Google for evidence—the Republican opposition to using reconciliation was varied and loud. Now, it’s about to be their touchstone for dealing with health care budgeting.
Glenn Greenwald and D-Day have made the case that the Obama Administration were liars, not fools, when they declared they couldn’t pass the public option during the reconciliation process. On the off chance we still believe they were only fools, it will be interesting—or, for some of us, horrifying—to see their reaction to an open declaration that the reconciliation process is fair game when used to reach Republican goals.
*If anyone in comments provides the link, I’ll add it.