Public Health Plan Option Will Cut Costs (And Other Fun Facts)
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The Senate and the Beltway media got the vapors last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated the government cost of two draft Senate health care proposals to be above $1 trillion.
With the media presenting the preliminary CBO price tag devoid of any context, Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus panicked, delayed introduction of a bill and produced a new draft with no public health plan option. The Senate minority of Republicans and right-leaning Senate Democrats who never wanted a public plan option are now using the CBO estimate as an excuse to drop the idea -- even though the idea was not part of the CBO's cost analysis.
In other words, the conservative Senate minority, with the help of the media, is distorting the public debate.
We need to reframe the debate immediately, and counter misleading information, if we are to press Congress to enact effective health care reform with the choice of a public plan that help covers everyone and reduces costs. Here's how we can:
Bill Scher is the executive editor of LiberalOasis.com and the online writer/editor for Campaign for America's Future . He is the author of Wait! Don't Move To Canada!: A Stay-and-Fight Strategy to Win Back America , a weekly contributor to Air America Radio's The Sam Seder Show and a fellow at the Commonweal Institute .