Schweitzer Speaks Strong on Single-Payer, Public Option

by jhwygirl

I’ve found this, from the Huffington Post….Last Friday, Schweitzer is quoted with a pretty darn clear statement in support of a single-payer system of health care:

“I ask [Canadian officials] a lot about their system,” he said. “And they ask a lot about our system. And I read a lot of Canadian press. And one thing I noticed about Canada is that they are flummoxed about this debate we have down here from time to time when someone lobs an insult to the Canadian health care system. I’ll tell you folks there is a better chance of someone getting struck by lightening in Canada then there is for a Canadian to come to the United States to get their health care. And yet, we are disparaging a system that has been working in Saskatchewan, my neighbor, since 1946.”

Still more, from The Atlantic:

On health care, Schweitzer and other governors have expressed concern that health care reform will amount to an unfunded mandate to force states to cover more people. After a few jokes about Washington, Schweitzer admitted that he wouldn’t support reform “if the end result of this bill is to shift the cost of this bill to the states that have to balance budgets. Forty eight states are in budget deficit.” Montana’s cash reserves, he noted, are at historic highs.

What about the public option? Schweitzer, in an amusing and winding story, noted that the most respected person in Canadian history isn’t their founder, it’s the man who instituted universal single-payer health care.

“So you like the public option?” Weisberg asked bluntly.

Schweitzer summed up. “I like the public option.”

That’s pretty crystal, no?


  1. Chimichanga Ray

    …Which is exactly why Brian Schweitzer should run against Max and end his political career over this health care crap.

    I am so pissed at Baucus over this health care thing. He has sold out Montana and sold out his soul.

    I hope Schweitzer Primaries Baucus in 2014 and kicks his ass over this health care crap. Markos is on board. Unless Baucus retires like a great big sissy. Or he’ll just go to work making millions as a lobbyist.

    The next Marc Racicot is what he is.

  2. Yep, crystal clear. Some Republicans (and some Democrats) seem to be on a kick to destroy state government, don’t they?

  3. klemz

    I think that would be amazing, but didn’t Schweitzer take himself out of the cabinet candidacy shuffle because he didn’t want to leave Montana. Why would he leave for a mere junior Senate seat?

  4. goof houlihan

    Yeah, we take him seriously, like when he bragged about fixing the election; he was just joking/making fun of Montanans/just having a gabfest.

    I know, the next time you hear somebody oppose the public option, in the line at the grocery store, you invite him outside for a beating. Because if you’re not willing to fight, you’re not really for the public option.

    Yeah, let’s take him seriously.

  5. ladybug

    Public Option means nothing without a very clear definition. When the words “single-payer” are spoken, or “Medicare,” there is no fudging, no wiggle-room. Public Option means nothing in Washington, D.C. Watch the votes, not the quotes.

  6. The “public option” right now is apparently the Schumer option, one so weak that even Baucus says he could support it.

    Under Shumer’s plan the government would seed-start public plans that have to follow all the rules private insurers must follow. Reimbursement rates would not be tied to Medicare.

    The problem with that plan is that a so-called public option company would have to follow all the rules of private insurers, including avoidance of sick people. If they don’t, they become a magnet for private insurer rejects, premiums soar,and they go out of business.

    Since the private for-profit insurance model is fatally flawed, any public option designed like that model will yield the same results.

    This is why Montana Blue Cross Blue Shield, a not-for-profit company, behaves just like a for-profit insurer. They have to, or they go out of business. And this is why the public option, as currently fashioned, will not work.

    Say single payer if you mean single payer. Say Medicare E (everyone) if you want a true public option. But define your terms.

    • Schweitzer was talking “public option” in the “my neighbors to the north” sense.

      “even Baucus says he could support it”? Nope – Baucus voted against both this and Rockefeller’s amendments.

      I think its grand that the debate is kept open.

  1. 1 Posts about Huffington Post as of October 9, 2009 » The Daily Parr

    […] about Huffington Post as of October 9, 2009 Schweitzer Speaks Strong on Single-Payer, Public Option – 10/09/2009 by jhwygirl I’ve found this, from the […]

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