Optional equipment | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 21, 2009

Optional equipment

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 6:27 AM

Any sort of health care bill is a longshot. A bill that provides coverage for those without -- or coverage that's worth anything -- is a longer shot still.

But note Krugman's assessment on the co-ops being suggested as an alternative to a government health plan, proven by Medicare as a lower cost way of providing health coverage.

And let’s be clear: the supposed alternative, nonprofit co-ops, is a sham. That’s not just my opinion; it’s what the market says: stocks of health insurance companies soared on news that the Gang of Six senators trying to negotiate a bipartisan approach to health reform were dropping the public plan. Clearly, investors believe that co-ops would offer little real competition to private insurers.

But this column is about more than health care. It's about Obama's failure to deliver in any area you can name to the progressives who provided so much of the support for his nomination. Have they been punked?

But there’s a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line. It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will “pull the plug on grandma,” and two days later the White House declares that it’s still committed to working with him.

It’s hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Obama has wasted months trying to appease people who can’t be appeased, and who take every concession as a sign that he can be rolled.

Uh, yeah.

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