As the Senate moves closer to passing its healthcare reform bill, President Obama is distancing himself from supporters of the creation of a government-run health insurance program. Senate Democrats recently removed the public option from the healthcare bill in order to gain enough votes to break a Republican filibuster. On Tuesday, President Obama told the Washington Post he never campaigned on the public option.
President Obama: “It is true that the Senate version does not have a public option, and that has been — become, I think, a source of ideological contention between the left and the right, but I didn’t campaign on a public option. I think it is a good idea, but as I said in that speech on September 9th, it just one small element of a broader reform effort.”
As a presidential candidate, Senator Obama touted the benefits of a public option. On his own campaign website, Obama promised that under his health plan, “any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.” As President Obama said in his weekly address that any plan that he signs must include a public option.