Posts Tagged - ‘public option’

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Carter: Ted Kennedy Killed Affordable Health Insurance Reform

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Image: Mitchell Weinstock under CC 3.0

Saying that the late Ted Kennedy stood in the way of comprehensive healthcare reform seems strange: the liberal Democrat took on that issue for decades before his death last year. But that’s what former President Jimmy Carter claims.

Specifically, Carter accuses Kennedy of shooting progressives’ cause in the foot because he opposed a Carter administration proposal in 1978. Kennedy supported a single-payer national health insurance system and considered it a civil right, similar to the “public option” touted in recent years. Labor unions also funded the Campaign for National Health Insurance, which convinced Kennedy to back out of a compromise proposal with Republican Gerald Ford in 1975 due to the potential for soon having a Democrat in office. However, Carter was more moderate than they expected.

In retrospect, it may have made more sense to accept the affordable health insurance reform Carter offered–which would have been effect for decades by now. Washington, D.C. has only become more conservative and polarized since then, and subsequent policy proposals were even more narrow.

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Midterm Election Update: Public Option Opponent Faces Runoff

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Image: USDAgov under CC 3.0

The 2010 midterm election season has already started with several primaries. In Arkansas, Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln faced a tough challenge from Bill Halter.

Lincoln was criticized from the left for helping to eliminate the government-run public option from the affordable health insurance reform law.

While the polling shows that she received more votes, the results are too close to call. Therefore, she’ll be facing a runoff in June for the Democrats’ nomination. If she wins, she will then struggle against Republican criticism for voting in favor of healthcare reform–though she voted against the accompanying reconciliation package.

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Nixon: Healthcare Reform Liberal?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Image: dbking under CC 3.0

The Barack Obama administration’s affordable health insurance reform efforts are very controversial. Republicans are especially opposed. Many believe that it is a socialist policy.

Interestingly, a modern Republican president went even further. In 1974, President Richard Nixon proposed comprehensive reform to the health insurance system (which shows how long this debate has been going!). Similar to the recently passed law, it included an individual mandate. However, it also included a government-run public option, which so-called “Obamacare” doesn’t.

Nixon was paranoid about Communist infiltrators during that time, ironic for a man whom many current Tea Party members would probably consider socialist on the health care issue. His attempt at healthcare reform was unsuccessful, primarily since he was soon forced to resign due to the Watergate scandal.

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