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The President Is Back to Lecturing Us About Health Care Reform

John Aravosis

From ABC's Jake Tapper:

As he did earlier in the night at a separate DNC fundraiser, the president pointed a finger to Democrats and Republicans for their role in health care reform. He called on Democrats to be united as they “keep their eye on the prize” in health care reform, and that when they get a bill they have to do "everything they can” to support it.

“Sometimes Democrats can be their own worst enemies. Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know the other side, they just kind of do what they’re told. Democrats, ya’ll thinkin’ for yourselves. I like that in you, but it’s time for us to make sure that we finish the job here, we are this close and we’ve got to be unified.”

There's something funny going on here. We've got the polls on our side, we've finally got momentum on our side after the Teabagger mess in August, and the president himself supported the public option during the campaign, and claims to still support it as the best solution to our health care mess. Then why isn't the White House pushing for a public option?

We're missing something here. A political friend at dinner last night suggested that maybe the White House promised to kill the public option as part of its secret deal with Big Pharma last spring. I have no idea if that's true, but something is wrong here, some piece of the puzzle is missing. It's becoming increasingly clear that the President has no intention of including a real public option for everyone in the final bill. If he did, he would publicly push for it. He's refused. His staff has refused. In politics, as in life, if you tell your opponent that you're not terribly wedded to your proposal, then your proposal is toast.

There's something the President is not telling us. And it's rather annoying for him to be lecturing us about coming together when, frankly, we are together. Unified around a campaign promise he is so blithely blowing off. We have the best chance at reform in a generation, and this White House is trying awfully hard to get the bare minimum with the least possible effort. We deserve to know why.

John Aravosis is the editor of

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