90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The 'Public Option' Debate
In this Aug. 15, 2009, President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo. Obama's weekend concession on a health care "government option" drew complaints from liberals and scarce interest from Republicans and other critics on Monday, Aug. 17, 2009, a fresh sign of the challenge the administration confronts in finding middle ground in an increasingly partisan political struggle. (AP)

President Barack Obama talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., on Aug. 15, 2009. (AP)

For months in the health care reform debate, the country heard Barack Obama describe a “public option” for government-run insurance as key to overhauling American health care.

On Saturday, in Colorado, the president said the public option was “just a sliver” of reform. On Sunday, his health chief Kathleen Sebelius said it was not essential. By Monday, headlines had it on the chopping block.

Conservatives rail against it. Progressives say it’s a must. This hour, we’ll talk with Democrat Howard Dean and more about the fate of health care reform and the public option.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Burlington, Vermont, is Howard Dean, former presidential contender, former governor of Vermont, and until January of this year chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He’s founder and senior advisor of Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee. He’s also a physician, a big voice in the health care debate, and a big supporter of the public option. His new book is “Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform.”

Joining us from Washington is Len Nichols, director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation. He was senior advisor for health policy at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration’s health care reform efforts of 1993-94.

Also from Washington, we’re joined by Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health education foundation, and recently served on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. She directed Medicare and Medicaid from 1990-1992.  She was an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and a contributor to the McCain health care plan.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment