Another Huge Poll: 72% “Fringe” Supports Public Option

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This is for you, Joe Scarborough. Yet another poll shows ridiculously high support for a public health insurance option.

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The rest of the poll is rife with the kinds of contradictions that arise from the gap between what people want, and what they are willing to do for it. What a surprise, for example, that a poll of people who 89% of have health insurance think that health care reform is too focused on insuring the uninsured, as opposed to controlling costs. As if insuring the uninsured does nothing to control costs.

To be clear, I think polling is irrelevant to whether the public option is a good idea. The public can be idiots. I mention it because the public option is a good idea, and since the public supports it so overwhelmingly, there’s no good reason for the Democrats not to pass it.

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Kill Bill, Volume 1

First off, I want to thank Tommy for asking me to blog here. I think political blogging is best when there’s an exchanglee_stranahan_daily_dosee of ideas and voices. I’m honored to be able to add mine to the great work Billie and Tommy are already doing here.

That being said, let’s jump into it…

“The highway is alive tonight,
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes.”

– Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad

As Tommy mentioned, I’m an advocate of health care reform. Congress has been busy for months working different proposals and this week, the House version emerged– one that’s been hailed by many, including Howard Dean, as ‘real reform’.

I believe the house bill should be killed.

There’s something that happens in casinos. A gambler may have been playing for hours and winning. Then they begin to get fatigued. They get tired of playing so they start playing sloppy. Rather than walking away from the table, the tired gambler starts to take a perverse pleasure in losing because it means they can finally STOP. So they grin while throwing money away and eventually when they are broke, they walk away from the table.

The casino doesn’t take those chances. They replace dealers with fresh ones, regularly. They have pit bosses watching those dealers. They have other bosses watching those pit bosses.

The battle for health care reform is battle against huge corporate interests. Those interests don’t get tired and there are billions at stake here. They have ground down health care reform for months, including plying key Congressman and the Obama administration with piles of cash that any casino would salivate at.

Introducing Lee Stranahan

Hi, Daily Dose readers, remember me?  The guy on the poster next to the pot-smoking alien?  Sorry I’ve been away for so long.  I’m still getting used to the extraordinary blessing that is being a real, full-time writer.  For those of you who don’t know, my initial deal with Mediaite only called for a weekly column.  The rest of what I wrote was voluntary gravy.  As of this month, however, I’ve gone from Pinocchio to real boy, with an obligation to crank out lots of content.  Concurrently, Asylum has also been asking for a lot more content from me.

As a result, I’ve been an absentee father to my home here.  Billie has stepped up admirably to fill in the gap, and traffic hasn’t really suffered.  I hope to be back here posting regularly soon, but it still won’t be what it was.

I’ve also been trying, for awhile, to establish a small contributor base.  This is tough, because I have high standards for you, our readers.  With this in mind, I’m proud to introduce you to our newest contributor, Lee Stranahan.

Lee Stranahan really needs little introduction, but I’ll do it anyway.  Lee first crossed my radar early in the 2008 Presidential campaign when I caught some of his very funny, satirical videos.  Our paths have crossed online quite a bit since then, especially on the Twitter.

He also blogs at Huffington Post, where he landed after being banned by Daily Kos for daring to believe what his lying eyes were telling him about John Edwards.  Lee currently spends his time writing and making films in support of aggressive health care reform.

Stylistically, Lee brings a harder ideological edge to the site than you might be used to here.  He’s also a very responsive guy, but I’ll remind you all to remember the rules anyway.  Let’s have fun.

Bill O’Reilly Backs Public Option While Declaring it Dead

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When I saw this item at HuffPo, declaring that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly backs the public health insurance option, I immediately thought “There has to be a catch.”

The clip at HuffPo was only about a minute long, so I figured there must have been a walkback later in the interview.  I found the full interview at the Heritage Foundation’s website.  There’s no walkback, but the clip has some great moments.  Not only does O’Reilly nail why the public option is necessary, he also makes several comically half-assed stabs at pronouncing  long lost Janeane Garofalo twin Nina Owcharenko’s name:

While O’Reilly doesn’t back off from his support for the public option, he does preface his remark by saying it’s not going to happen.  Aside from my own reporting to the contrary, O’Reilly might take heart from this widely-circulating clip from yesterday:

While media accounts of the death of the public option may have created the impression that public support for it may have waned, perhaps repetitions of this scene, along with some actual facts, will help to turn that tide in favor of O’Reilly and “the folks.”

Hmmm…Does the President Support the Public Option?

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During President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress last night, delivered over the din of Republican obstruction, he spent 7 paragraphs speaking about the need for a public health insurance option, and included one in the White House’s reform plan.  What did the Associated Press take away from all of this?

Analysis: Obama willing to deep-six public option

This analysis seems to spring from these two sentences:

For example — for example, some have suggested that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others have proposed a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring.

So, two sentences placating the GOP’s and Blue Dogs’ macaroni art constitutes a repudiation of the public option?

Read the rest at Mediaite

Postlet #5: Something Besides Public Option Declared Dead

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Every few weeks, it seems, the media is reporting the death of the public health insurance option, so I was happy to see them move on to a new target, the Gang of Six and the idea of a bipartisan reform bill.  What’s really cute is watching seasoned pros buy into the idea that the White House, in a Popeye-esque brogue, is going “That’s alls I can stands, I can’t stands no more!”

The public option was never not going to be allowed to pass.  The fact that the Republicans are giving the White House cover now is just an awesome bonus.

Media Eager to Report Death of Public Option

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The big story this morning, aside from Mad Men and Michael Vick, is the death of the public health insurance option.  On  TV, on newspaper front pages, and on blogs, various stages of the public option’s demise are being reported.  The basis for all of this pessimistic reporting?  Statements, this weekend, by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the public option is not a deal-breaker.

Ex-sueeze me?  That’s the big news?  This is one of those questions that come up so often at White House briefings, we can all recite the answer like a well-dressed Rocky Horror audience.  “The President strongly supports a public health insurance option, but the main goal is to provide health care reform that results in quality, affordable care for every American.”  (throw toast at Gibbs)

The media has stood ready to stick a fork in the public option since this debate began.  Off the top of my head, there was this July report that Rahm Emanuel had “caved” on the public option by answering this very question.  That story was quickly walked back by the President later that day.

The White House’s strategy seems to have been to “rope-a-dope” on the public option, putting it out there and letting opponents punch themselves out at it.  In the end, the White House doesn’t need the Republicans, or many of the Blue Dogs, to push this through.  The question is whether or not they realize what’s at stake.

An even bigger question is, why is the media so ready to eulogize the public option?  While recent polls have reflected slipping support for health care reform as it is being debated, those same polls either show overwhelming support for the public option, or they simply don’t ask.

There are two obvious answers.  First, corporate influence over the mass media that drives news coverage is always a popular go-to bogeyman, and not necessarily in the tinfoil-y, paranoid sense.  A media culture that intersects so strongly with a corporate culture is bound to reflect those values disproportionately.

There’s also the voracious nature of the 24-hour, 1440-minute news cycle that grants outsized importance to mundanities and inanities, particularly in the entertainment-starved dog days.

The answer is a combination of the two, abetted by desperate and dishonest opponents of the public option and their squeaky wheels.  Look for the White House to spend the day, and the week, pushing back against this.