Mike Lux writes a very disturbing piece about something that he warned us about back in June. It's called a Trigger.
The moment I am talking about is the debate of the so-called trigger mechanism for having a public option in health care insurance.
The insurance lobby has had multiple tactics for stopping the public option idea, which they despise because they know if regular folks have choice to go to a public option, insurance companies won't have the same ability to treat their customers like garbage when they get sick. The first tactic was just to try to kill the public option outright, and the good news is that they appear to have failed at that. This so-called trigger proposal is the second tactic: the idea is to write a "trigger" that will allow for a public option only under certain conditions, but write the legislation so that those conditions would never get met in the real world. It's a classic DC tactic, right up there with calling for a commission to study something. Olympia Snowe is carrying the insurance industry water on their trigger proposal, proposing triggers that would only get tripped in some fairyland none of us have ever visited.
Rahm bragged about it in July, but then was forced to backpedal on it when we all came out and raised bloody hell.
As Lux describes it now, the White House is obsessed with Olympia Snowe and they are willing to allow her to write the language in the bill that adds the trigger to the public option. but she will basically eliminate any chance a trigger will actually get triggered.
Media reports and insider buzz make it increasingly clear that key people at the White House have become obsessed with Olympia Snowe on health care, and are willing to do pretty much whatever she demands in order to get her on board. The price is looking more and more like this incredibly bad trigger proposal she has been pushing, a trigger that quite literally is written to automatically never trigger a public option. You see, Senator Snowe is writing language into an amendment that is literally a Catch-22. The legislative language says that a public option will be set up in a state in which health care is not affordable to 95% of the state's residents, but it defines affordability as after the new tax credits that are written into the bill to make health care affordable. Not only would this be an incredibly weak public option (doing it in one state will mean it can't get the market power to compete with the big insurers), but it would be a public option that is written by its definition to never be triggered. This is a trigger specifically, intentionally designed to kill the public option...read on
Please keep up the pressure and don't allow Rahm or the White House negotiate the public option away with bullshit triggers put there by Olympia Snowe.
Olympia Snowe's trigger is a plan to kill the public health insurance option. Not kill it as in make it weaker, but kill it as in make absolutely sure it will never, ever come into existence.
Senator Snowe's trigger is literally a catch-22, defined by Wikipedia as "a set of rules, regulations, procedures, or situations which present the illusion of choice while preventing any real choice."
Since the media gasbags for the most part have all proclaimed the public option DOA, the trigger will be a point they will hammer progressives that go on TV about. It's the Bipartisan Creep for Broderites. I hope any members of the CPC are well informed before they decide to do the Hardball's, CNN or cough, cough....FOX News. The Villagers think they speak for America when they discuss health care reform, but they do not. Americans overwhelmingly support a public option and one that isn't rigged to a phony trigger. Lux warns that this will cause a civil war in the Democratic Party.
The AFL-CIO, Howard Dean and Democracy for America, bloggers, MoveOn.org, progressive media figures, and the tens of thousands of people coming to Obama rallies and cheering wildly for a public option will figure out quickly that this trigger proposal is a farce specifically written to kill any chance of a public option. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus already are angry at having legal immigrants thrown under the bus by Baucus, all will explode.
This trigger will never trigger a public option, but I can tell you what it will trigger: a civil war inside the Democratic Party just when you most need unity to pass health care reform. I am convinced that there are deals that can be struck that will bring progressive and moderate Democrats, House and Senate Democrats together on a good strong health care bill that will pass. But a trigger designed to never trigger isn't even close to being one of them.
Rahm seems to be using the trigger to get his backroom deals done with Big Insurance, and he's playing with fire.
No Triggers. Do you hear that, Rahm?