Tom Daschle, Bellwether

To take stock of the true trajectory of support for a public option within the Democratic forces behind healthcare reform, one should look no further than Tom Daschle.

The former senator from South Dakota — who was supposed to become President Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services but who withdrew from contention when his unpaid taxes threatened to derail his nomination — was pushing a public option for healthcare as recently as May 18, 2009, when he argued in a Newsweek column for a public plan.

SCOTUS Ruling Fuels GOP Fire

A.B. Stoddard spoke with Chris Kofinis & John Feehery about how the Supreme Court reversal on Ricci v. DeStefano will effect the outcome of Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.


Did the President Surrender on the Public Health Option?

Yes, he did.

The president should have said at his press conference that a public option must be included in the healthcare bill, that the public favors it and that he would go to the country and fight for it.

Instead, the president said a public option is a good idea and he favors it at this time.

Public Plan Option Wins by Landslide

The votes are in and counted, and the winner is ...

No, I’m not talking about the election in Iran. I’m talking about the latest New York Times/CBS poll on healthcare. Which contains some very interesting results.

Does our existing healthcare system need fixing? Eighty-five percent of Americans say yes!

Which party do you trust to do the job? Fifty-seven percent say the Democratic Party. Only 18 percent trust Republicans.

Dems Could Lose Healthcare Debate

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard delves into some of the latest Sarah Palin news, and offers commentary on how Congress is handling the healthcare debate and the political climate in Iran.


How They Pay for It: Breaking Promises of the Obama Campaign

House Democrats are preparing to break President Obama’s campaign promises as a way to pay for his healthcare plan.

According to The Associated Press, Ways and Means Committee Democrats are contemplating the following tax increase:

• Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.
• Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.
• A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers' healthcare expenditures.
• Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels — a less likely option but one that still is in the running.

Presidential Pooch or Public Health Plan?

Today the White House formally released its official photo of the president's Portuguese puppy. Over two previous days we learned about the president's ability to swat a fly. Before that we heard about the president's date nights. Do the phrases "overexposed" and "cult of personality" ring a bell?

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that credit cardholders are in expanded revolt against rip-offs after passage of the credit card bill, The New York Times reports that small business is being crushed by rate increases on credit cards, healthcare is bogged down, lobbyists are in full attack, Democrats hold a big fundraiser sneaking lobbyists in through the backdoor and liberals worry (correctly) that the president might retreat (again), this time on the public health plan.

Healthcare Proposal a Travesty

Ezra Klein, in The Washington Post, details the proposed cutbacks in the healthcare reform bill that have been made in committee to reduce its cost. The result is that the package has gone from bloated to fraudulent. It no longer covers the uninsured.

Under the new plan, everybody would have to buy health insurance but subsidies would only be available to families making less than three times the poverty level. That's about $50,000 or so for a typical household (depending on how many children). So what does this bill mean for families making, say, $60,000? It would mean no subsidies but a requirement that they spend about $4,000 or so a year on health insurance. It’s essentially an extra tax.

No Health Reform by August

Say what you will about President Obama and his team, but they are an aggressive lot. In the midst of an economic crisis the likes of which the country hasn’t faced since the Great Depression, coupled with a brewing international pot of nastiness in North Korea, Iran and Russia (yes, Russia — just you wait), still the Obama White House pushes on. Even after borrowing 50 cents for every dollar it’s foolishly and recklessly pumping back into untold programs with unknown benefits, still the Obama White House pushes on.