TRANSCRIPT of Dec 6 press conference: Well, look, I’ve got a whole bunch of lines in the sand.... So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people...
I had thought that there were three possibilities with respect to the public option:
- Only a couple of million sign up.
- Only a couple of million sign up, but the existence of the public option would exert enormous competitive pressure on the rest of the exchange system.
- It would turn out that Medicare-for-all would offer the best price/performance tradeoff and the public option would grow to dominate the exchanges.
And I thought that a big reason for the public option was that we had literally no idea what the probabilities of those three possibilities were.
So I do not see how anyone can claim that it was "a provision... that would have affected maybe a couple of million people..."