Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Day of Tidbits: Did Clinton Help Kill the Public Option? Which Reporter Has the Wall Street Speeches?


Lee Fang interviews Hillary Clinton about her Wall Street speeches (source)

by Gaius Publius

It's been a day of fascinating small bits of news. Let's look at just two that have caught my eye.

Did Hillary Clinton Help Rahm Emanuel Kill the Public Option?

For example, did you know Hillary Clinton may have helped the Senate reject the public option during the ACA debate? Read this FOIA-released email exchange between Neera Tanden ("a former Obama administration senior adviser") and Hillary Clinton from 2010 and decide for yourself (h/t Stuart Zechman):

(Click to enlarge.)

It almost reads like Tanden was working for Clinton as well, but I could be wrong. The key sentences are: "The one question I wanted to ask you is about your idea on using FEHBP as a kind of public option. I know you gave that to Rahm [Emanuel] last August, and then mysteriously, it was in the Senate Finance package like a month later."

FEHBP is the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. It was dangled in front of us as a substitute for a while. Here's what the people at the Kaiser Health Network had to say at the time (my emphasis):
10 Experts Weigh In On Plan To Replace Public Option In Health Bill
By KHN Staff December 14, 2009

Can a spinoff of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program which is the health insurance coverage for eight million federal workers and their families, as well as members of Congress, help some of the country’s uninsured?

Many Senate Democrats are betting it would and have proposed that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which manages the FEHBP, oversee national health plans as part a Senate health bill compromise reached late Tuesday to replace the public option.

Although the specifics of the proposed spinoff have not yet been released and could change, it would likely include at least two national plans from private insurers. These plans would be administered by OPM....
If I read this right, it doesn't look good for Clinton, especially in light of this, from  Politico very recently:
Clinton revives support for health care 'public option'

Hillary Clinton wants to bring back the public option, offering a competing vision to Bernie Sanders’ support for a more progressive health care system.

Clinton's campaign has updated its website to note her continued support for the government-run health plan that was dropped from Obamacare during the law's drafting. The idea was popular among progressives who prefer a single-payer plan -- like the one Bernie Sanders is touting.

Clinton supported the public option in her 2008 presidential campaign, and during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act a year later, Congress debated allowing a government-run plan to compete with private insurers. However, the public option was eliminated from the legislation because of objections from moderate Senate Democrats who opposed a greater government role in providing health care.
"Clinton supported the public option ... during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act" — except that, apparently, she didn't. Just the opposite in fact. She appears to be the source of the bait-and-switch that Rahm Emanuel passed to those "moderate Senate Democrats" who tanked it.

I'd love to hear the explanation of that one. Maybe some reporter would do something like was done in the clip at the top.

By the way, the Washington Post, which has spotted the same email, has spun its contents this way (h/t Lee Fang):
Former Obama health adviser sought to credit Clinton with ACA reform ideas, per e-mails

Neera Tanden, a former Obama administration senior adviser on health-care reform, was working to push the impression that many of the health-care ideas proposed by the administration were in fact part of Clinton’s 2008 campaign platform, according to e-mail correspondence released Friday between her and the former secretary of state.
Credit Clinton with "ACA reform ideas" — including the public option? According to the Post article, "Tanden also remarked that a proposal to open the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program to all Americans was initially proposed by Clinton during her first bid for the presidency." If Clinton did indeed propose, in 2008, opening FEHBP to the public — and that needs to be checked — it had to be as an addition to the public option, which she then supported. Because after the election, Clinton apparently proposed it as a replacement for the public option. Not the same thing.

I think there's a larger story here, and the Post hasn't found it. Just the opposite in fact — they appear to have buried it.

Which Reporter Has a Copy of Clinton's Goldman Sachs Transcripts?

And then there's this. Apparently, according to Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski, some reporter has the Clinton speeches after all. From Gawker:
In defiance of her supporters’ wishes, her critics’ open calls, and even her own promises, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton continues to block the publication of transcripts from the speeches she gave to several banks, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, in 2013 and 2014. According to MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, however, Clinton may no longer have much of a choice.

As the Nevada caucuses were wrapping up on Saturday, Brzezinski mentioned off-handedly that she “[knew] a print reporter who has the actual transcripts, and they are working on this.”... Brzezinski did not elaborate on the identity, employer, or motivations of the unnamed reporter who apparently obtained access to the speech transcripts.
Gawker speculates that this may all be a "carefully orchestrated" leak by Clinton’s own press team, but I'm not sure. Unless the reporter has just the most boring speeches, of course, in which case, never mind.

Stay tuned.


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At 10:12 AM, Blogger cent said...

I hope The Intercept or others can dig up more on the public option story... This would end her.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW from Politico (link below).

Bernie Sanders met with HR Clinton in 1993 after she was appointed chair of hubby’s “Task Force on National Health Care Reform.”

“In February, Sanders requested a meeting with Hillary, “to bring in two Harvard Medical School physicians who have written on the Canadian system,” according to the records of the administration’s task force. Those physicians were Stephanie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, leading advocates for single-payer health care.
They got their meeting at the White House that month, and the two doctors laid out the case for single-payer to the first lady. “She said, ‘You make a convincing case, but is there any force on the face of the earth that could counter the hundreds of millions of the dollars the insurance industry would spend fighting that?’” recalled Himmelstein. “And I said, “How about the president of the United States actually leading the American people?’ and she said, ‘Tell me something real.’ ”

John Puma

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't see how it would end her, it very clear states that the public option didn't have the votes in congress. Vote History supports that. amazing the evidence leads to exoneration for your whole case, but you steadfastly maintain she's crooked somehow. Son, after 30 years and half a billion $ spent just trying to get HER, it "ain't gonna' be you"

At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FEHBP proposal was what served as the "public option" in the 1993 Clinton plan, so it fits that she would have brought it up again.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

coupla things:

It was reported by multiple sources that obamanation vowed to the relevant lobbies that there WOULD BE NO PO NOR SP in the as-yet not crafted bill. This was reportedly vowed both before and after naming his big 6 senate team to usher the bill from conception to birth. It was also before he gave at least 2 speeches where he lied saying he supported a PO.

His big 6 was led by max Baucus for a reason. Baucus was and is as corrupt as a person can get, and he was also sleeping with the primary lobbyist involved in writing the bill. They later married. If you remember the iterative senate performances in passage of the bill, you'll remember that D senators kept trying to insert a PO; and the big 6, with enthusiastic support of harriet reid (THE most corrupt and ineffective D majority leader in history) kept spiking it as they decried a lack of votes. You'll also remember that the senate had 60 Ds at the time, so "lack of votes" was horsecrap... well, except that a dozen or so of them were so corrupt that no bill couldn't be bought or bought off.

Where hilbillary fits in here is hardly relevant to passage since she was not in the senate. But it is clear that hilbillary, fundamentally corrupt and in bed with the big PHRMA and MEDIC lobbies, would never inconvenience the for profit health care (denial for massive profits) system with which America's 99.99% are afflicted.

WRT hilbillary and banks... well, is there any doubt possible that she was paid millions by G-S alone and more millions by the finance sector for speeches for services rendered (GLBA, CFMA... during bill's horrible second) and to make sure they stayed bought during hil's upcoming? Can there really be any doubt? Would it matter if she discussed her horrible cookie recipes or whether she vowed further dereg, tax cuts and legal immunities for their past and future fraud?

hilbillary created TBTF and have NEVER uttered even a tweet about jailing people who's fraud tossed millions out of their homes and caused a few dozed deaths.

Bernie is the only candidate from either sect of the money party to correctly ID the problems and articulate reasonable solutions.

Yet voters are just too effin' stupid to support him.

hilbillary will get elected and the wealth will continue to gusher up to the tippy top only. And hilbillary will say the opposite of what they do... and stupid voters will keep voting for this pos.

we get what we deserve.


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