On the Public Option, Consider the "Trigger" Pulled

Compromising on “triggers,” a poor euphemism meaning no public option, will certainly result in as Pascrell states, “a bill.” But isn’t it still important to ask what quality of bill we’re talking about here?

Politicians have danced around the issue of the public option for so long that many Americans are confused about what it means. A public option, according to Howard Dean, is a system that expands Medicare benefits to individuals under 65 years of age. Quite simply: It’s an expansion of an enormously popular program. That proposal — the public option — is what Progressives want.

In advance of his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, President Barack Obama called the leading House liberals, according to Roll Call. Leaders of the Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus all reiterated their support for a strong public insurance option, said Progressive Caucus Co-Chairwoman Lynn Woolsey.

“It sounded like he was trying to figure out how he could get something he could call a public option, regardless of what it is,” one staffer familiar with the call said.

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