Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 8/19/2009

By Gorman Gorman

Aug 18, 2009 3:22pm

TAPPER:  Understanding that the president believes the public option is the best way to force the private insurance companies to bring down their prices, is the White House — does the — is the president convinced that co-ops, while not as strong a measure, would be…a viable alternative to the public option? Is he convinced that cost savings could come from co- ops?

GIBBS:  Well, in all honesty, I don't think — I don't think anybody has seen a level of detail thus far that would — that you'd be able to make a completely educated assumption on what we've seen.

TAPPER:  Conrad said on Sunday that the votes are not there in the Senate for the public option.  Do you guys agree?

GIBBS:  I'd have to talk to — I'd have to talk to leg affairs on that.  I think that's simply what — that's what a lot of people have said.

TAPPER:  Right.  But you guys count votes and you guys are involved…

GIBBS:  Yes.  I haven't talked to them recently about the exact vote count.

TAPPER:  OK.  There's — there's also a thing I wanted to read you..  In a letter sent last week to the White House from the National Association of Postal Supervisors, the president of that union, Ted Keating, said that his union had a, quote, "collective disappointment that you" — meaning the president — "chose the Postal Service as a scapegoat and an example in efficiency." Does the president — has the president seen that letter?  Has he responded?  Does he regret using the post office as an example of inefficiency?

GIBBS:  I doubt he's seen that letter, and I don't have any reason to believe he regrets it, since he repeated it.
TAPPER:  All right.  So far I'm 0 for three.  Let me just try one more. The ACLU in April put in a Freedom of Information Act request for information about detainees at Bagram. The Pentagon responded to the ACLU saying we have information; we're not going to give it to you. Does that live up to the president's promises of transparency, given that the Pentagon has released that information about Gitmo detainees?

GIBBS:  I — I saw your blog post on this, but I have not seen the letter and don't have any other information on it.

TAPPER:  0-for-four.

- jpt

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