President Obama's speech last night left an incredible amount of wiggle room. It was only a matter of time until some Democrats started looking for ways to eviscerate the Public Option. We're not talking here about corporate tools like Max Baucus and Ben Nelson: they sold their souls to the insurance industry years ago. Nor people like Mary Landreiu and Blanche Lincoln who never stood up for anything actually liberal in the past.
Who would it be? The first major Democratic caver?
Yes, kids, we have a winner, and his name is Harry Reid. It took him less than 16 hours from the end of the speech to re-read his dismal poll numbers and make the political calculation that selling out the public option would play to his constituency. He's not
right correct, but he did it anyway.
Harry came out in favour of co-ops.
"The purpose of a public option is to create competition, which is so important, and to create quality healthcare,” Reid told reporters during a press conference. "If we can come up with a concept of a cooperative that does just that, that is it makes more competition and makes insurance companies honest, yes, I think that would fill the bill.”
This was Kent's idea earlier, and when he floated it, we detailed all the different ways that co-ops cannot possibly work. Wasn't going to work last month, won't work now.