President Obama made it clear yesterday that the public option is still alive:
Obama maintained that while the centerpiece of his healthcare reform effort, a public (or "government-run") option, is absolutely not dead, it also is not the "silver bullet" that would instantaneously repair the nation's healthcare system.
"I absolutely do not believe that it's dead," Obama told Univision's "Al Punto" of the public option's fate. "I think that it's something that we can still include as part of a comprehensive reform effort."
But the president still signaled that the public option, a key reform for which he has pushed for months, would not serve as a panacea for healthcare problems.
"What I've said is the public option, I think, should be a part of this but we shouldn't think that, somehow, that's the silver bullet that solves healthcare," Obama said on NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory, rejecting the idea that he'd effectively told liberals that the public option will not be included in reform.
Although I don't know anyone who's claiming that the public option is all we need -- the silver bullet -- to reform healthcare. Obviously there are other provisions that are important. What we're saying is that the public option is crucial for strengthening those other reforms.
If there's one thing we know for sure, corporate America is really good at coming up with new loopholes to circumvent the law, but with a public insurance option, we have a place to go if the private insurers continue to screw us.
Adding... The public option is still alive, but bipartisanship is in its last throes. Finally. The president:
“You know, I’d love to get Republican votes, but I don’t count on them. … I think, that the opposition has made a decision. They are just not going to support anything, for political reasons.”