When you have multiple people going out on the Sunday talking head shows to push health care reform, there's bound to be a screw up when you're not repeating faxed talking points verbatim, which the Democratic party does not do.
Sebelius' comment on the public option not being "an essential element" was definitely a hiccup. But she did clarify her statement.
It may have been a verbal slip. But the main goal remains: the essential part is competition. If you don't trust private insurers then what's the other option? A public plan, because the co-op idea is still private.When John King asked her, "So the public option is not a deal-breaker from the president's standpoint?", Sebelius did not deny his assumption and answered:"Well, I think there will be a competitor to private insurers. That's really the essential part, is you don't turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing. We need some choices, we need some competition."
I'm happy with the following statement and that's what I'm holding on to while every pundit tries to convince us of hedging by President Obama because, after all, that's news, isn't it?
Nothing has changed," said Linda Douglass, communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform. "The president has always said that what is essential is that health insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health insurance market. He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals."