I don't think so.
Duncan Black writes
My marker for Obama was whether he'd get a health care bill with a public option. He didn't. A year ago passage of some sort of health care reform seemed inevitable, and not a tremendous challenge. Only a year of dithering and bipartisaning and gangs of wankers and pre-compromising and, frankly, failure to put forward something simple and popular jeopardized it.
The bill's more good than bad, but it isn't what we should have gotten. It isn't what we voted for.
In fact his claim was that the reform would make things better than the status quo ante if and only if there were a public option. I suspected at the time that this was a bluff -- that he was threatening to Hamsher if Obama didn't deliver a public option.
His current claim that what he said was the outcome would be better than expected (not better than the status quo ante) if and only if there were a public option is absolutely false.
In 2 minutes of googling, I didn't find the link to the first post in which he clearly asserted that reform without a public option would be worse than nothing, but here is proof that D Black's current claim about the thought of D Black is not accurate.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
As Hunter says, there isn't meaningful reform without a public option. More than that, reform without a public option is actually likely to make things worse, pouring even more money into the corrupt insurance industry and giving them even more political power.
And someone should inform Baucus that if he wants to get a good CBO score he just needs to include a robust public option. But saving money is less important that keeping insurance companies happy, so that's not going to happen.
Note the absense of an actual argument in the older post. Black can't argue that the Senate bill is worth than nothing unless he ignores everything in the Senate bill except for the individual mandate. He never even tried.
I'm pretty sure this was strategic. Black thought that it would be a bad bargaining strategy to say that a bill without a public option would be better than nothing. However, even if one's old statements were made strategically and were not uhm totally frank, one should see them when looking back.