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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Obama manoeuvre en recul

Obama May Back Down on Healthcare Reform

Translated Tuesday 25 August 2009, by Helen Robertshaw and reviewed by Henry Crapo

After the retreat on medicine prices in a compromise with the pharmaceutical industry, will the health system reform also fall prey to a back-down? Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, announced that the government was prepared to abandon its plan for a possible state-managed health insurance scheme.

The president, who interrupted his holidays to take part in three assembly debates on the reform, hinted at this on Saturday in Grand Junction, Colorado. He said: “Whether we have a public option or not isn’t the essential issue of the reform, but just one of its elements.”

White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, and communications director, Linda Douglass, have, on the contrary, insisted that nothing has changed with respect to competitiveness between the proposed contracts. These statements are intended to appease progressives who disapprove of any effort to reach a consensus with the Republicans in order to obtain the necessary 60 Senate votes, at the expense of failing to meet their pledges to change a dehumanised, costly and ineffective system.


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