Was the nonprofit cooperative health plan Obama’s exit strategy all along?

Bush allowed us to invade Iraq without an exit strategy. Could Obama have been just as reckless in proposing a public option health plan to compete with private insurance? A really savvy politician would have known this could have been shot down by the right wing all along and would have had the cooperative plan as an "exit strategy".

Obama can never please the far right, but now there’s a hue and cry among liberals that Obama is selling them out. On the far left even the public option was unacceptable to many who wanted  to have true socialized medicine like the United Kingdom and Canada. 
Less partisan moderates just wanted health care reform and didn’t get particularly stuck on the details. Many of them see the prospect of this dimming and suggest it means Obama is failing as a president and about to renege on a major campaign promise.
I’m not jumping to conclusions.
If Obama is as astute a politician as he’s been made out to be he would have learned from Clinton’s (really "the Clintons") failed attempt at health care reform.
Almost everything in politics is predictable beforehand. There are rare exceptions like an entire election turning on a Supreme Court decision or Sarah Palin running for vice president. This isn’t the case of how the health care debate has turned out and how it is influencing Democrats. It should have been anticipated by Obama’s health care reform team.
Obama knew he couldn’t propose a vast overhaul of the health care system which would relegate private companies to the insurers of the well-to-do. The right wing would have had a field day screaming about how he was destroying America and comparing him to everyone from Stalin to Voldemort.
I’m not as sure as some people are that he is viewing the current developments as a defeat, and I am quite certain the negative reaction doesn’t surprise him.
The language being used by television commentators is that he’s "backing off his insistence on a public option" when in fact he’s always said that he wanted to make sure there’s choice and competition with the private companies.
I think Obama knew all along that there would be a battle royal against any significant health care reform. I believe he had his advisors put together an exit strategy (from the public option) which we are now learning about. 
If properly designed a cooperative alternative to private insurance could for all extents and purposes look different but work the same as a public option.
Howard Dean (on MSNBC’s Morning Joe), was adamant in his insistence on having a public option. He likened the cooperative plan to Blue Cross before it became private.
That’s not a fair comparison since a new plan presumably would by law be prohibited from going private. Executive salaries could be capped. I assume coverage of existing conditions would be mandated. I would expect the private companies methods of delaying needed treatment would be eliminated.
A properly regulated health cooperative could be as effective in providing quality health care to all at a reduced cost as a government controlled program.
I never thought Obama was going to be a miracle worker. He’s "only" the president, not the king. 
What we may be about to see is whether he’s just another politician or whether he’s the consummate politician of our times.
I’m not about to sell him short. 


  1. almandine

    Good synopsis Woody.

    Some folks want themselves and all of us to be communio-socio-fascists. Others don’t understand the full impact of what that means.

    I’m with Patrick Henry.

  2. woody188

    EEEEK. Run. The communio socio fascists are coming. EEEEK. Lock up your daughters. Hide the whiskey. Lock up your sons, some of them might not be heteros. Please, Rush, save us. Take another shot of whatever illegally obtained drug it is you’re taking this week and save us from the CSFs. Whatever the hell they are.

    I’m not crazy. Don’t like the insinuation here or the drama theater. These types of childish antics are akin to disrupting a town hall meeting.

    Do you have any idea what a communio-socio-fascist is? Can you define one?

    Working on that actually. What system is it that is controlled by the rich via money and lobbists and serves at the needs of them and their portfolios above all?

    What system keeps profits private but losses become public debt?

    What system has secret courts, secret police, wiretap their citizens, and uses torture to cover lies invented to dominate the resources of another region of the world?

    Well that’s just our imperial communio-socio-fascist government (I admit I need a better name, fascomocialism or fasocommism?) that exists of the Unitary Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the military, a Congress that represents the businesses of their districts, and a court system unwilling to risk their own paychecks ruling against the Executive.

    They get their direction largely from the Council of Foreign Relations, or as Hillary Clinton put it, “to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”

    Can you tell us exactly what their agenda is?

    First to combine Canada, the United States, and Mexico into one trading block similar to the EU, then ultimately to form one world government, or a New World Order as George H W Bush and Henry Kissinger like to call it.

    I don’t think you will find this name out around the internet. There are few of us actually talking frankly and honestly about what has happened since 2001. I can only show the truth, I can’t make you accept it as such. We all create our own realities.

    Fact is we’ve been on this trajectory since at least the days of Andrew Jackson and only now at the end is it all coming to light.

    We are one swine flu pandemic away from losing it all and our government tells us it’s coming this fall.

    Sorry Hal for moving a bit off-topic.

  3. gazelle1929


    EEEEK. Run. The communio socio fascists are coming. EEEEK. Lock up your daughters. Hide the whiskey. Lock up your sons, some of them might not be heteros. Please, Rush, save us. Take another shot of whatever illegally obtained drug it is you’re taking this week and save us from the CSFs. Whatever the hell they are.

    Do you have any idea what a communio-socio-fascist is? Can you define one? Can you tell us exactly what their agenda is? Can you tell us of their organization? Can you tell us how communism (I think that’s what you mean by communio, though perhaps you left the n off and we’re talking about Catholics who take communion) can possibly be juxtaposed successfully to fascism? Or are you just using a phrase some kook on the internet is passing around and it sounded good and scary so you tried to frighten us with it?

  4. woody188

    I’d take hell before allowing a communio-socio-fascism the likes of which Obama espouses. Probably fewer lobbyists and lawyers in hell than in Obamaland. It’s considered assault to spit on people.

    You have it entirely wrong. It’s not that anyone is afraid he will succeed. It’s that precedent indicates he will fail miserably. Name one successful government project that stayed within it’s budget and provided some benefit to everyone.

  5. gazelle1929

    And while the Republicans and all their far-right clones, lookalikes, and wannabees piss and moan about how the Government would only mess up health care reform because that’s all the Government does tens of thousands of people, no, hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million or so, are suffering and dying because they have no health insurance. Children are suffering. Infants. Pregnant women.

    And all because the Republicans are so damned afraid that Obama might actually have a success.

    I have only contempt for people who would allow others to suffer and die because it would be bad for them politically to give in and help their less fortunate brethren. And the same goes for the white horse they rode in on. I spit on them. They will have a special place in hell.