I can answer this question on MANY levels, but it first comes to the tune of money. The money is flowing through congress as never before, especially the senate. Even all these moderate, conservative democratic senators are from states that WANT this in the final bill, but are towing the insurance line. So, what is the big deal?
They are scared or scurred to go against the insurance industry. This industry has most of these politicians bought and sold. Don't think that these senators are not being threatened, yes to the tune of, "If you vote for a public option, kiss your D.C. cocktail career, good-bye. We will run ads to support the candidate running against you in the primary and general and will run you out of your elected seat." Please, don't think this is not happening. And God forbid any of these Democratic Senators losing their spot at the next D.C. cocktail party!!
Look at all these POOR STATES, most in the South and these warped minded Democratic Senators are talking like they are Republicans, even though the polling states that their constituents want the public option. Case and point, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) answered her constituents questions on line and they hammered her about the public option and why she is not going to support it, some to the tune that if she does not then she will not get their vote.
"We are terribly disappointed that you have caved in to the insurance industry and failed to support the public option for health care. It may very well affect our vote for you in the next election," Ray and Judy told her on the chat, which is posted online.
"Unfortunately the insurance companies opposed the bill I supported in the Finance Committee. There are many ways to provide greater options and choices to individuals, including non-profits, a state plan, and a co-op plan," Lincoln wrote back.
But that wasn't the last word. Lincoln got six more questions along the same lines.
Stan Wilson asked, "Again why are you opposed to a public option or everyone having the same health care options that you have?"
"That is exactly what I am for," Lincoln argued. "I am for expanding health care options for everyone just like the options that I and 8 million other federal employees have. Today the state of Arkansas has one or two options for customers. My goal is to expand that to dozens of choices."
"Nathan - Rogers" asked, "As long as hospitals and insurance company executive are paid based on the profits their companies make, how can we expect the focus to be on the patient without a public option?"
"We're changing that by changing the rules for insurance," was her response.
Next up was Jesse Barr of Winslow, AR, who blared: "Competition is the ONLY way to make the insurance corporations change their behavior!"
"I share your views," Lincoln said. "Providing competition and choice is the best way to make insurance companies change their behavior and be more competitive. It is also the best way to provide more affordable choices for people. Changing the rules is the first step towards forcing the competition."
Senator Lincoln has flipped and flopped all year on the public option, now it is winding down and crunch time. She is up for re-election next year and her record is dismal, in my view, but her constituents are heated about her voting for a public option. Ms. Lincoln has taken big money from the insurance industry, so which way do you think she is going to vote? My bet, her campaign coffers, then I will publicly support ANY Democrat who will run against her in her primary. That is how weak of a candidate and elected official she is.
Lastly, I can not harp on this enough, the United States Congress has the best medical insurance in this country, the type that Candidate Obama said the American Public deserves. If this is so, then why is this so hard for Democrats to understand what the public wants? Money and power is a bitch, it is this combination that can make or break you, we will soon find out for these Democrats in the Senate, which way their wind will blow. And the Republicans? Who cares? They were never going to vote for any health reform ANYWAY.
Here is the ABC/Washington Post new poll on the public supporting a public option.