Some are saying President Obama is wavering on his commitment to a public health insurance option. Earlier in the year Obama claimed health care reform must include the government insurance alternative but analysts say in the President’s address to Congress he backed off such a firm stance.
Bobby Peterson, Director of the Madison public interest law firm ABC for Health, believes there may be compromise going on in the administration but he believes it’s still part of Obama’s plan. Peterson says the President has provided the “opportunity” for a public option and “triggers” in case private insurance fails.
In his speech to lawmakers, Obama mentioned the possibility of providing affordable government provided insurance in regions where private coverage costs too much.
The proposal has triggered emotional opposition by some but Peterson adds public option already exists with Medicare and Medicaid.
Whether public option would pass lawmakers is the question. Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she would only sign a bill containing the provision, many Republicans and moderate Democrats have been opposed to the plan.
Critics say too many Americans would switch to the lower cost government alternative causing private insurers to go under.