A good catch from The New Argument. The Democratic party’s organizing arm, OFA, seems to have changed the language on it’s website, which used to be as firm as possible on the public option. The site used to say that health care reform “must… [g]uarantee choice – Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor – including the choice of a public insurance option.”
Now, it’s backed away from that insistence. The new language on the site urges members of Congress to support President Obama’s health care reform principles, which include a public option–but doesn’t characterize it as a make or break issue.An OFA source confirms that the new language is taken from Obama’s speech to Congress last week, which does reflect OFA’s new public message, but says that OFA continues to press just as hard as ever for a public option in the field.
Even so, in politics, words matter, and I think it’s fair to say that, excluding House progressives, not a single Democratic party leader or organization now says that the public option is an absolutely necessary element of health care reform.