2009-07-20 Bait and switch - How the public option was sold

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Date: 2009-07-20
Link: http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/20/bait-and-switch-how-the-%E2%80%9Cpublic-option%E2%80%9D-was-sold/
Author: Kip Sullivan (writingscat)
Source: Physicians for a National Health Program (articlescat)
Topics: US/healthcare/reform/2009
Categories: US/healthcare/reform/2009


Bait and switch: How the 'public option' was sold

longer text

The people who brought us the "public option" began their campaign promising one thing but now promote something entirely different. To make matters worse, they have not told the public they have backpedalled. The campaign for the "public option" resembles the classic bait-and-switch scam: tell your customers you’ve got one thing for sale when in fact you’re selling something very different.

When the "public option" campaign began, its leaders promoted a huge "Medicare-like" program that would enroll about 130 million people. Such a program would dwarf even Medicare, which, with its 45 million enrollees, is the nation’s largest health insurer, public or private. But today "public option" advocates sing the praises of tiny "public options" contained in congressional legislation sponsored by leading Democrats that bear no resemblance to the original model.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the "public options" described in the Democrats' legislation might enroll 10 million people and will have virtually no effect on health care costs, which means the "public options" cannot, by themselves, have any effect on the number of uninsured. But the leaders of the "public option" movement haven't told the public they have abandoned their original vision. It’s high time they did.

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[edit] shorter text

“...the leaders of the "public option" movement haven't told the public they have abandoned their original vision. It’s high time they did.”

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