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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pelosi Rejects Public Option 'Trigger'

I haven't had good things to say about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when it comes to the crimes of the Bush administration -- and I shouldn't. She was wrong, wrong, wrong on the issues of impeachment and investigations and really threw her constitutional responsibility under the bus.

That said, on the issue of healthcare reform, she's been solid.

The Hill:

Nancy PelosiHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday shot down a healthcare compromise that has been viewed as the best chance for getting a bipartisan bill through the Senate.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected the idea of a “trigger” for a public option. That means that the government-run healthcare plan would be a fallback option, enacted only if other reforms didn’t make healthcare more accessible.


“I don't even want to talk about a trigger,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. She said the “attitude” of her fellow Democrats is that “a trigger is an excuse for not doing anything.”

The piece goes on to talk about the Blue Dogs and how unhappy they are with this, but screw them. Pelosi knows the vote count and it's pretty clear she feels safe in the ability to get something out of her chamber without them. They have been defanged.

In the senate, it's a different story, the trigger may actually be the best thing that can possibly get through there. But Pelosi has no real reason to care. It's not her chamber. There will be two bills going into conference committee, the house's and the senate's. There's no requirement that they be in agreement. If Pelosi wants a strong public option to come out of the house, there's no reason to worry about what the senate does. The two bills will be reconciled into one and there's every chance that if public option backers stick to their guns, they'll get what they want on the president's desk.

The easiest way to lose a battle is to stop fighting it -- and that means choosing to lose it. Nancy Pelosi doesn't seem willing to make that choice.

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