President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi followed yesterday’s passage of federal health care reform legislation by purchasing a 1985 Dodge Astrovan for $2500. The van was put up for sale for $500 in the Washington Post classifieds by Ms. Ina Surance of Hartford, Connecticut.
Obama and Pelosi will use the van during a June nationwide Apology Tour — two weeks driving from Washington, DC to California, stopping along the way to apologize to the Democratic base for the health care overhaul, which:
- lacks a public option
- mandates Americans to buy health insurance from for-profit companies
- subsidizes coverage by giving taxpayer dollars to insurance companies
- fails to repeal antitrust immunity for insurance companies, and
- does not bar preexisting conditions for group insurance plans, and
- leaves intact the geographic disparity in Medicare reimbursement rates
This morning Obama and Pelosi went before the Washington press corps to celebrate the van deal. Obama described his negotiating strategy: “When I saw the van was $500, I immediately offered Ms. Surance $600. When she said $500 was all it was worth, I kept bidding it up until finally she agreed to accept five times her asking price,” Obama said.
The Speaker agreed it was a good compromise. “We could have taken the Amtrak public option, coast to coast for $524 in USA Rail Passes. Except Rahm Emanuel agreed with Mitch McConnell beforehand that we wouldn’t do that,” she said.