McConnell still not interested in compromise

MCCONNELL STILL NOT INTERESTED IN COMPROMISE…. The public option opt-out compromise caused a bit of a stir on the Hill yesterday, even before any of the details had been fleshed out. It was hard not to notice, however, that several center-right members of the caucus — Nelson, Baucus, Lieberman — seemed at least somewhat amenable to the idea.

Any chance Republicans might have a more favorable attitude towards this proposal? Take a wild guess.

On Fox this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party does not support a public option compromise that would allow states to opt-out of the government option.

“I think they [Democrats] would love to have the government in control of our health care if they could. … They may look for some circuitous route, some way to try to get it by indirection,” McConnell said.

“All of my members think it’s a bad idea, no matter what you call it. Whether you call it a co-op, whether you call it outsourcing it to states, I don’t think we need any more government health care,” he said.

So, consumers shouldn’t have the option of a public plan, and states shouldn’t have the option of giving consumers the option. Got it.

To be sure, this isn’t surprising. Indeed, there’s nothing especially wrong with the Senate Minority Leader reflexively rejecting every possible worthwhile idea on health care reform. The opposition party is supposed to oppose the majority’s agenda, so it stands to reason that no amount of concessions would be enough.

It’s a reminder, though, that expectations that health care reform must be “bipartisan” to have merit are foolish and unrealistic, just as it’s a reminder that the “Party of No” criticism is sticking for a good reason.

In the same Fox News interview, by the way, McConnell said Republicans have “serious problems with the government health care we already have,” presumably in reference to Medicare.

Does this mean the campaign to position the GOP as champions of the Medicare program is over?