Latest word from the White House is that the President still supports a public option but is also standing by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's remark last weekend that a public insurance plan is "not the essential element" of health-care reform. So where, exactly, is the White House on the public option? Just about where it is on the question of whether it agreed with Big Pharma to bar Medicare from using its bargaining clout to get lower drug prices -- or didn't. In other words, we don't know.
Universal health care is President Obama's biggest issue, and he needs strong public support if he's going to overcome the vested money interests in Washington. Which brings us to the question of where the people who voted for Obama stand on all this.