Under Pressure

As President Obama seeks to get Universal Health Care out of intensive care, it seems members of his own party continue to go for its jugular. How about a $3800 fine for failing to comply with the requirement to buy yourself an insurance policy under ObamaCare?
The proposed fines are part of a proposal from Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a moderate who heads the influential Finance Committee. Baucus was meeting Tuesday with a small group of senators trying to engineer a bipartisan compromise to break the stalemate.
The President's Wednesday repositioning speech on health care comes just as Senators and Reps get back to work. Obama is hoping to inject himself into the legislative process before the acute anxiety of August, accumulated in the hearts of moderate Democrats, has a chance to solidify divisions in Congress. But Baucus, and others, aren't cooling their heels to satisfy the President's needs.
A leader of a pivotal group of moderate House Democrats says he can no longer support a new public insurance plan in a health overhaul bill. Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas made the announcement Tuesday as members of Congress returned from Washington after their August recess.
The administration has one powerful card left to play, which might explain why they're not in total panic. They hope that fear of the party facing political collapse next year if no health measure is passed will be enough to get Democrats to agree to some sort of compromise. With the Public Option now relegated to a wish rather than a promise, the President is mounting another push.
It could be a sign of big trouble ahead for President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders trying to push health legislation through Congress. Most House liberals say they won't support a bill without a public plan. In July, Ross took the lead in negotiating changes to House Democrats' health overhaul bill to make it more palatable to moderates. He voted for it in committee with a public plan.
Despite claims to the contrary, there is no purpose to the Public Option other than to put the framework in place for an eventual Single Payer Plan. None.