I've been criticizing the president for not speaking out more forcibly that a a public plan MUST be included in health care reform. I know he's playing his cards tight to the vest so republicans have less to work with as they apply their usual attacks on any kind of meaningful health care reform, but I still don't like it. On Meet the Press, David Axelrod gave one of the strongest indications I've seen that President Obama firmly stands for a strong public option. He also called it "the Public Choice." I can't tell you how important the latest polling was on health care which told the politicians that America wants the government to be involved in fixing the health care system. Gregory used Howard Dean's statement on The Hill about America voting for change to get the segment rolling.(rough transcript)
Axelrod: We believe strongly in the public choice, not something ...what the President was saying was illogical were the same people saying that the government is incompetent, that the government can't run anything, that the government shouldn't be involved in anything, but we can't let that be involved in any of the choices because it'll be an unfair advantage against the insurance companies.
Gregory: When it comes to the public plan though, no ultimatums from the President?
Axelrod: Well, the president believes strongly in a public choice, he's made that very, very clear. He's made that clear private and publicly and we're going to continue to do so.
Gregory: But the president is not going to ram this through, his priorities through?
Axelrod: Well, I just told what the president's priorities were are and he won't sign a bill that does not meet those priorities.
Gregory: Can there be a successful outcome in the president's mind without a health care reform plan without a public plan?
Axelrod: I think the president wants a robust public option to compete against the private plans.
We're getting closer to finishing up our Blue America/Blanche Lincoln/Public Option ads as we fight to make Democratic politicians stand up for us and not the health insurance companies on health care reform. You can still donate here: Blue America's Campaign For Health Care