Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Daschle book reveals deal that killed public option

Posted by on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 9:00 PM

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Everybody kinda knew this happened, but a new book from former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle reportedly details exactly when and how the public option was "taken off the table" in the "historic" health care reform debate.

From Think Progress:

In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, [2009,] the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.

Sen. Max Baucus, of course, is chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and never gave the public option a chance. The White House, however, long maintained it should be a part of the reform bill. Think Progress spoke with Daschle about what the White House did, and when, and he kind of flip-flops on Obama's commitment to it. You can read more here.

The book, titled Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform, comes out next week.

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