If the idea is to have a public option waiting in the wings in case private insurers blow it, why wait for it at all? If it gets lower costs and wider coverage, it should be included right from the start.
What worries me isn't just that the mainstream media are calling Snowe's trigger "centrist," but that the White House might see it as an easy out. "I continue to believe that a public option within that basket of insurance choices would help improve quality and bring down costs," the President said Monday. Fine. But he hasn't yet said the public option is essential. He hasn't threatened to veto a bill lacking it. There's even reason to believe the White House has quietly encouraged Olympia Snowe to pursue her "trigger."
The best way to give Blue Dogs cover is for the President to explain clearly and boldly why the public option is essential to health care reform, and why he's ready to veto any bill that doesn't include it. That's also the only way to give the nation a good chance of getting true health care reform. Hopefully, that's what he'll do Wednesday evening.
Read it all at Robert Reich's Blo