That’s gotta hurt.
Sen. Russel Feingold (D-WI) has come out in support of the Senate health care bill–but not before placing one of its major failings at the feet of the White House. “[T]he lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle,” reads a statement from Feingold. “Removing the public option from the Senate bill is the wrong move, and eliminates $25 billion in savings. I will be urging members of the House and Senate who draft the final bill to make sure this essential provision is included.”
On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine Robert Gibbs taking the criticism sanguinely–the White House has insisted, to an incredulous community of activists, that President Obama did everything in his power to secure a public option. But on the other, this is criticism the White House might secretly be glad to accept in exchange for one of Congress’ leading progressives saying he supports the controversial reform bill.
You can read the entire statement after the jump.
I’ve been fighting all year for a strong public option to compete with the insurance industry and bring health care spending down. I continued that fight during recent negotiations, and I refused to sign onto a deal to drop the public option from the Senate bill. Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle. Removing the public option from the Senate bill is the wrong move, and eliminates $25 billion in savings. I will be urging members of the House and Senate who draft the final bill to make sure this essential provision is included.
But while the loss of the public option is a bitter pill to swallow, on balance, the bill still delivers meaningful reform, and the cost of inaction is simply too high. This bill significantly expands coverage and helps protect Wisconsinites from high costs and insurance company abuses, such as denying or restricting coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The bill also improves a flawed Medicare formula that denies Wisconsin fair reimbursement rates, encourages the kind of low-cost, high-value care practiced in our state, increases access to home and community-based long-term care, and reduces federal budget deficits by $132 billion over the next decade.