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.


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.
Oct 9, 2015
A manhole begins to spill over with floodwaters as high tide approaches at Dorchester Road at Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville, S.C., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  (AP)

Russia goes big in Syria. The US hits a hospital in Kunduz. Hillary flips on the TPP. An epic flood in South Carolina. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 9, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. (AP)

Fantasy football scandal, and the wild, booming betting world of fantasy sports.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 9, 2015
Friday, Oct 9, 2015


More »
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »