Health Care "Debate" Devolves Into Confusing Chatter and Misinformation

Almost overnight the debate has become all about reassuring people that nothing's going to change.

Yesterday John King had Kathleen Sebelius on his show and she made a good case for the public plan option:

KING: The president tomorrow will speak to the American Medical Association. Doctors are skeptical about this public option. And let's look at -- we will show our viewers what our means. It's a government-owned health insurance plan, similar to Medicare and Medicaid. And it essentially would increase competition. And the goal is to lower prices by having competition with private insurers.

Those who argue against it say the subsidies from the government would be unfair competition, hurt private insurers, and perhaps drain the federal treasury, because, once you have a government option in place, you need to pay for it.

How will the president make the case to the skeptics, even in his own party, that this is too much government?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think that competition is a good thing, that most Americans understand that choice and competition is what we want. So, if you look at a health exchange, a marketplace, where people can have some options -- in many parts of the country, private insurers have no competitor, in -- in a state like my own home state of Kansas. There is a dominant insurance company in a lot of the states.

So, we created a public option for state employees, so they could choose side by side benefits and prices. Competition is good. You can write the rules for a level playing field.


Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.
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