Politico is reporting that the President will back a public option in his speech before the Joint Session of Congress tonight.
This means that the President will not get his public option through the Senate, nor will he likely have the votes in the House, since by including the public option, the political price for a yes vote became very high for moderate Democrats. Add into the mix the other issues like new taxes, new spending, increasing deficits, coverage for abortion (a WaPo op-ed states abortion could derail ObamaCare), cuts to Medicare and senior's opposition, and you have a very expensive vote for the moderates.
TIME is reporting the following:
"House leaders have pulled back from their once-aggressive schedule. “I have no timetable” for passage of a bill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters yesterday. While eschewing the idea that they would wait for the Senate to act, they are stuck waiting at least until Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus shows his hand."
Given the House Leadership's and the President's refusal to budge on the public option, it makes the cost of a yes vote too high. There are not the votes in the U.S. House to pass ObamaCare, and if this is the big, re-activated, re-energized approach that President Obama will take on health care, good luck with that.
According to Politico:
"President Barack Obama plans to give a strong endorsement of a public option – or government health-insurance plan – in his remarks to Congress on Wednesday night but will stop short of an ultimatum, leaving wiggle room for negotiation as the bill moves through Congress, according to sources familiar with his remarks.
"In a speech meant to reset debate on the centerpiece of his first-term agenda, Obama can be expected to use language similar to his Labor Day remarks in Cincinnati, where he said: “I continue to believe that a public option within that basket of insurance choices will help improve quality and bring down costs."
Wasn't the President supposed to walk away from the public plan? Or did the Speaker, with the help of the Daily Kos and MoveOn.org roll the President on the public option? Seems like that is exactly what happened. Yet another flip by President Obama on the public option?
There are a couple of other interpretations: is President Obama and the White House trying to appear to be forced into governing from the left on health care? Or is President Obama's game plan to get the House to pass the Public Option and the Senate to pass something and then put the public option in the conference report and force the Senate to vote it down?
If the Speaker and Senator Reid have the votes to pass ObamaCare, as they say they do, then they would have already had a floor vote.
No, the House does not have a timetable for a vote. None whatsoever -- but the Speaker says she has the votes.
President Obama's climbing negatives likely has a whole lot to do with fact that the House has decided to punt on the ObamaCare vote.
The Associated Press is reporting:
Public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has jumped to 52 percent, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released hours before he makes his case for overhaul in a prime-time address to Congress.
With his health revamp moving slowly and unemployment edging ever higher, Obama's overall approval rating has also suffered a blow. The survey showed that 49 percent now disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, up from 42 percent who disapproved in July.
Not to mention Charlie Cook's warning that the Democrats should be "terrified" of the big election wave signs and signals -- one of which is the President's approval rating taking a steep drop (check).