The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. … ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and press secretary Robert Gibbs indicated the president would accept nonprofit insurance collectives — the insurance industry’s preferred alternative — over a government insurance plan.

He may have no choice, according to Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who told Fox News, “The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been.” See where Conrad gets his money here. — PS

AFP via Google:

With angry debates dominating the airwaves and opposition emerging in the Senate, Obama said in a speech in Colorado Saturday that a government health insurance program to compete with private insurers was just a small piece of the reform plan.

“The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it. One aspect of it,” he said in a town hall meeting.

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