http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/health/policy/05health.htmlOh look, he does want a public option.I'll post the more relevant section of this news article (as opposed to political diatribe)"He told the liberals that a public option would never pass the Senate, but said he would be “personally committed” to pursuing it once the current bill became law, said Representative Raúl Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona and co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He asked centrists for support."
In my view, BO's conservative, hands-off tactics over the past year ("single-payer is off the table;" "I'll let Congress debate the matter") largely explain the failure to pass a robust public option 6 months ago (i.e., before the rabid "tea parties" and "death panel" drivel). But I guess we'll see if he keeps this latest promise.
I would hesitate to call them conservative, but I do get your meaning. I agree that his hands-off tactics is a contributor to the inability to pass a public option, but there are many other, more potent reasons for this failure of congress. The right side of the room, for example.
Congress is a disaster, too.
I think that it makes sense to refer to his tactics as conservative. The idea is that in order to pass some reform he is pulling back on some of the more politically impractical aspects of reform, such as the public option which has been so adamantly opposed by Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats.I personally believe that Obama is in favor of a single-payer system but he realizes that because of a myriad of factors (deeply ingrained anti-socialist and anti-European mindsets of a large portion of Americans) he will be unable to pass anything that far left. Government regulation of the insurance industry, assuming that it works well this time, may soften the public opinions against government control and pave the way for universal health care or a single-payer option.