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The Progressive

Obama Double-Crossed Progressives on Health Care

Are you feeling like a chump yet?

If you're a good progressive, and you wanted single-payer health care for all, or, second best, Medicare for All Who Want It, or third best, a robust public option, or fourth best, a paltry public option, now you've got nothing, nada, zippo.

Has it ever crossed your mind that this is the way President Obama wanted it to be?

That he tossed in the public option at the beginning only to get progressives on board, knowing full well that he was going to jettison the public option by the end?

Have you considered that maybe Max Baucus wasn't the problem?

And that maybe Olympia Snowe wasn't the problem?

And that maybe even hideous Joe Lieberman wasn't the problem?

But that Obama himself was the problem?

After all, Obama never once said he wouldn't sign a health care bill that didn't have a public option in it.

After all, Obama dumped on the public option at almost every opportunity, calling it just a "sliver" of the overall package, and not the most important sliver at that.

After all, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was huddling regularly with Max Baucus when the Montana Senator squashed the public option the first time.

And after all, Obama didn't even ask Lieberman to back the public option.

Seems to me that Obama played us all for fools.

His discussion of the public option was a cynical charade from the start, and now he expects all good progressives to rally around this "historic" health care bill?

Forget about it.

The most historic thing about Obama's health care bill is the double-cross he dealt progressives.

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Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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