Obama Tries to Sell “Co-ops” As Public Plan
In an interview with Time Magazine, Karen Tumulty pushes Obama to be specific about what his health care goals are. Obama says that when he sketched out his health care principles to Congress, "we talked about the need for a public option as part of that health-care exchange."
TUMULTY: Although you didn’t define what a public option really is.
OBAMA: I would say, Karen, actually we defined it fairly clearly in terms of what we thought would work best. What I said was, is that it shouldn’t be something that’s simply a taxpayer-subsidized system that wasn’t accountable, but rather had to be self-sustaining through premiums and that had to compete with private insurers.
TUMULTY: And would a co-op fit that definition?
OBAMA: Well, I think in theory you can imagine a cooperative meeting that definition.
That’s exactly what the insurance industry and Kent Conrad designed co-ops to do: satisfy the 76% of Americans who want a public option by developing a fake one that they could substitute. And now the President is their pitch man.