John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Public Option Is Dead

Posted on August 17, 2009

The Death of the Public Option


            So, the public option is dead, eh?


            Good!  It was always a stupid idea, anyway.


            The left didn’t like it.  They want the government-run health care, and to them, a public option just isn’t good enough.


            The right didn’t like it.  They saw it as the first step to a single payer plan.


            And the middle didn’t like it.  They saw is as a sure sign that our country was going to go bankrupt.


            The President, himself, signaled how stupid a public option is when he compared health care delivery to postal delivery.  His point was that we have a public option with the postal service, and Fed Ex and UPS aren’t exactly going out of business.


            But the postal service is a model of inefficiency.  It is going broke, and it can’t keep up with the times. 


            The American people don’t want to get the kind of service from a public-run health care system that they get from their local post office.  Thanks, but no thanks.


            The President and his team have made several mistakes.  They overestimated their popularity.  They forgot that the last election was not about ideology, it was about personality, chiefly President Bush’s personality.  They over-reached, as is the usual pattern in one-party government. 


            They had Congress draft a dumb stimulus package that was easily ridiculed and hard to implement.  They had the House pass a cap-and-trade bill that was easily labeled a job-killer.  And then, they had the most liberal Committees pass left-leaning health care bills that drew the enmity of protesters around the country.


            Instead of changing the plans, they condemned the protestors, calling them a mob.  Calling constituents a mob is no way to win friends or pass legislation.


            Now, the White House is retreating from its signature issue, a public option. 


            They will be ridiculed by their most ardent supporters, and still despised by their opponents. 


            It is unclear if they will get anything done on health care.  It is clear that the public option is dead.