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My Take on Deeds and Healthcare

by: Aimee Fausser

Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 05:57:08 PM EDT

A lot of progressives and bloggers have gotten fired up in the past few days about Creigh's comments on the public option. I am a strong supporter of the public option, and Creigh's comments (saying that he's not taking the possibility of opting out of the public option off the table) don't upset me. Here's why.

When asked for clarification, the Deeds campaign responded by saying, in part, "He'll examine all of the proposals on the table and choose the option that provides Virginians with the most affordable and quality coverage."

I've got no problem with what Creigh said about the public option. I personally strongly support it, but I think it's healthy to examine all the choices that we have before us. I've always known Creigh to be a politician that looks at the facts before him, considers them, and makes a decision. I am confident that if we elect him to office, he will make reasoned decisions and good choices to reform our healthcare system. Yes, it may take a little bit of lobbying, but that's nothing we can't handle. It would be a shame to write off Creigh just for saying that nothing is off the table at the moment. I see taking all the options into consideration as a sign of strength, not weakness, and though I have strong feelings about health care reform, I also am not frightened by looking at additional facts. In fact, I believe that when the facts are examined, the public option remains very strong.

I encourage those who are concerned by Creigh's comments to stand by what they believe in, but not to be scared of the idea of taking everything into consideration before making a decision.

Aimee Fausser :: My Take on Deeds and Healthcare
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not a good sign
I think the best spin that can be put on Deeds' equivocation on the public option is that it was designed to hold on to his base while not frightening away independents who have been subject to anti-public option propaganda.  Unfortunately, I think even this purely political strategy is a loser, because I think rallying the base and encouraging more turnout is the only way Deeds can be the closer he was in the primary.

The only ones who claim the public option would lead to less choice are the scaremongers on the right who see a slippery slope to single payer as the government crowds out the private sector.  I suppose we should be grateful that Deeds didn't join the right wing government bashing which talks about the DMV while ignoring Medicare which is a popular public program that is better at controlling costs than the private sector.

Finally, I know Deeds' priority is getting elected, but this is a bad time to throw cold water on the public option.  Not only does it hurt the chances of a public option being included in the bill to go to the Senate floor, but also it boosts the political prospects of Republicans who are falling all over themselves trying to see who can be the most "conservative."  Just yesterday, Pawlenty also said he'd opt-out of the public option.

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