Remember when Blanche said she won’t vote for cloture on a bill with a public option? I guess she’s getting her way:

I will not allow my decision on this vote to be dictated by pressure from my political opponents, nor the liberal interest groups from outside Arkansas that threaten me with their money and their political opposition; the multitudes of e-mails and ads we have received, unbelievable types of threats about what they are going to do and how they are going to behave. The fact is, I am serious about changing our health care system, as most Arkansans and most Americans are. I am not with those who seek to avoid the debate, nor with those who use political attacks to achieve their narrow goals. I will vote in support of cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill.

But let me be perfectly clear. I am opposed to a new government-administered health care plan as a part of comprehensive health insurance reform, and I will not vote in favor of the proposal that has been introduced by Leader Reid as written. I, along with others, expect to have legitimate opportunities to influence the health care reform legislation that is voted on by the Senate later this year or early next year. I am also aware there will be additional procedural votes to move this process forward that will require 60 votes prior to conclusion of the floor debate. I have already alerted the leader and my colleagues that I am prepared to vote against moving to the next stage of consideration as long as a government-run public option is included. The public option, as a part of health insurance reform, has attracted far more attention than it deserves. While cost projections show that it may reduce costs somewhat, those projections don’t take into account who pays if it fails to live up to expectations. If, in fact, premiums don’t cover the cost of the public plan, it is taxpayers in this country who are faced with the burden of bailing it out.

Our colleagues cannot ignore the growth in the Federal Government since the year 2000. I can assure you that the American people have not ignored it. According to the American Institute for Economic Research, government spending grew by 55 percent under President Bush. As he was leaving office, government launched a massive bailout of Wall Street. Then it was the domestic auto manufacturing industry that needed taxpayer funds to survive. And finally, in order to revive a dying economy, it took a government economic recovery package to save or create hundreds of thousands of jobs. We can argue about the necessity of these unprecedented steps, but we need not argue about the impression they have made on the American people. We should be stopping the growth of government, not expanding it more. Without the public option, we could still force private insurance plans that participate in the exchanges to provide standard benefit packages that are easy to compare and more fairly priced. We will be bringing millions of new customers to the exchanges so insurers should be motivated to lower prices and be competitive.

On the same day that Blanche Lincoln said her opposition to a public option was so strong that she’d join a Republican filibuster against any bill that had one, her website still said she supported a public option (h/t Think Progress):

blanchlincolnpublic

So, despite the fact that the country wants a public option, the President campaigned on one and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid both promised there would be one in the final bill, the woman who took $763,000 from health care interests for her upcoming Senate race is allowed to dictate what happens. And Obama gives his seal of approval, desperate for anything he can call a “win” in time for the State of the Union address.

What a hideous, rudderless mess.

Remember when Blanche said she won’t vote for cloture on a bill with a public option?  I guess she’s getting her way:

I will not allow my decision on this vote to be dictated by pressure from my political opponents, nor the liberal interest groups from outside Arkansas that threaten me with their money and their political opposition; the multitudes of e-mails and ads we have received, unbelievable types of threats about what they are going to do and how they are going to behave. The fact is, I am serious about changing our health care system, as most Arkansans and most Americans are. I am not with those who seek to avoid the debate, nor with those who use political attacks to achieve their narrow goals. I will vote in support of cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill.

But let me be perfectly clear. I am opposed to a new government-administered health care plan as a part of comprehensive health insurance reform, and I will not vote in favor of the proposal that has been introduced by Leader Reid as written. I, along with others, expect to have legitimate opportunities to influence the health care reform legislation that is voted on by the Senate later this year or early next year. I am also aware there will be additional procedural votes to move this process forward that will require 60 votes prior to conclusion of the floor debate. I have already alerted the leader and my colleagues that I am prepared to vote against moving to the next stage of consideration as long as a government-run public option is included. The public option, as a part of health insurance reform, has attracted far more attention than it deserves. While cost projections show that it may reduce costs somewhat, those projections don’t take into account who pays if it fails to live up to expectations. If, in fact, premiums don’t cover the cost of the public plan, it is taxpayers in this country who are faced with the burden of bailing it out.

Our colleagues cannot ignore the growth in the Federal Government since the year 2000. I can assure you that the American people have not ignored it. According to the American Institute for Economic Research, government spending grew by 55 percent under President Bush. As he was leaving office, government launched a massive bailout of Wall Street. Then it was the domestic auto manufacturing industry that needed taxpayer funds to survive. And finally, in order to revive a dying economy, it took a government economic recovery package to save or create hundreds of thousands of jobs. We can argue about the necessity of these unprecedented steps, but we need not argue about the impression they have made on the American people. We should be stopping the growth of government, not expanding it more. Without the public option, we could still force private insurance plans that participate in the exchanges to provide standard benefit packages that are easy to compare and more fairly priced. We will be bringing millions of new customers to the exchanges so insurers should be motivated to lower prices and be competitive.

On the same day that Blanche Lincoln said her opposition to a public  option was so strong that she’d join a Republican filibuster against any bill that had one, her website still said she supported a public option (h/t Think Progress):

blanchlincolnpublic

So despite the fact that the country wants a public option, the President campaigned on one and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid both promised there would be one in the final bill, the woman who took $763,000 from health care interests for her upcoming Senate race is allowed to dictate what happens.  And Obama gives his seal of approval, desperate for anything he can call a “win” in time for the State of the Union address.

What a hideous, rudderless mess.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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