The Hill is reporting that Thomas Carper (D-DE) will probably unveil his newest terrible public option “alternative” in roughly a week:

“I expect early next week we’ll have something to share — not just with our colleagues, but with the broader community,” Carper told The Hill. Reid’s office did not comment for this article.

From what we know, Carper’s alternative is some form of non-public triggered co-op that will not be an option. It will serve none of the goals of the public option, and will be completely worthless. His alternative is not public:

Under Carper’s proposal, the bill would establish a national public insurance program founded by the government but managed by a non-governmental board.

It will also not be an option because it will only be available if triggered:

The public option would kick in for states where insurance companies fail to meet standards of availability and affordability of plans.

Carper’s non-public triggered co-op is a useless Frankenstein monster built from all the terrible ideas meant to cripple the public option. It is not public. It will not be available nationwide on day one. It will not be able to take advantage of Medicare’s provider network or HHS’s expertise running a large public insurance program. It will not be an option because it will be subject to a trigger designed to never be pulled. Even if the trigger is pulled in a few states, the plan will be too small to function or survive. This is not a “compromise,” it is just piece of theater to pretend that the public option was not completely killed.

The article claims Harry Reid instructed Carper to come up with this unworkable plan B. Reid’s real plan B should have been to get an even stronger public option using reconciliation. If this awful non-public triggered co-op is added to the bill, it will be purely because Reid decided to betray progressives, the grassroots, and Americans in need of protection from private insurance companies. Reid would be doing this solely to keep Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln happy. Giving in to Lincoln’s and Lieberman’s crazy demands will only make passing progressive legislation more difficult moving forward. Capitulation is not leadership, it is a hinderance to the movement.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at