White House appears ready to drop 'public option' - Yahoo! News: "Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers."
HHS Secretary Sebelius said the public option is "not the essential element" of the administration's proposed policy. That's because the real essential element is greatly increased federal control over health insurance. The public option will return to the agenda if the Democrats do well enough in the 2010 elections. For now, the administration is bowing to political reality. It has been clear for at least a month that the Blue Dog Democrats were listening to the private insurance industry on the public option. Then the public outcry kicked in. This health care takeover was shaping up as a debacle for the Obama administration and the Democrats. Now they will probably get a bill--and it may turn out to be a good one--and can declare victory, living to fight another day.
That is, unless most of the independent voters have irrevocably decided, based on the health care debate, that Obama isn't what they thought he was.