NYTimes Comes Out Strong for Public Option Health Insurance Reform

by jhwygirl

Really should be giving credit to supermissoulian Ellie Hill who tweeted on a NYT article, “The Public Plan, Continued“.

It’s a good article that lays out – very plainly – what a public option means; some of the various options of public option health insurance; and a nice overview of the process now that all health reform bills are out of the various committees and heading to merging committees and floor votes.

I like the read, for the fact that not enough main media sources are stepping up and explaining the meaning of the words swirling the artificially inflated controversy over single payer or public option. It also touches on one of the things that I’ve been waiting for – which is the legislative debate. Up until know, much emphasis was placed on one person as if what the committee he heads up puts out is what we are stuck with. We could end up with something very different than that which has been the central focus of all public option single payer advocates – and now is when it will happen.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she and the majority she claims in the house won’t approve anything without a meaningful and real public option. Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, is taking a more milder position (he doesn’t seem to want to fight for anything, IMHO) – that a public option isn’t passable. To say that they are at odds, is clearly putting it mildly.

Anyone catch video of Nancy’s cold shoulder to Harry’s shoulder hug this week?

My bet is on the Lady of the House.

~~~~~
There are many who have been working on insurance reform since just as the presidential election finished up. Health insurance reform is the biggest domestic policy attempt in U.S. Congress in generations. We’re only half-way there. Those truly working on meaningful reform been able to focus on the meat-and-potatoes of the issue and not all of the extraneous personality-based coverage that is purposefully the focus of our corporate media. I admire that – because even when I ask them (as I’ve been drawn into it myself) “what in the hell is Max thinking,” they skillfully brush it off and guide the discussion back to the facts and figures and the heart of the issue.

Who benefits from shifting the discussion away from the topic at hand and instead focusing on all the “superstars”? Olympia Snowe, Up and Coming? What sells now that America is numb? Policy or personality? Last week it was Sen. Harry Reid – this week it’ll be Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Maybe we should be talking about the fiscal irresponsibility to the taxpayers and the added cost to health care should there be no real public option instead of Harry v. Nancy, Baucus v Dodd/Kennedy, Republicans v Democrats.

Maybe we should be taking about the 50 million uninsured in America and the effect that has on the cost of health care.

Maybe we should talk about what what the cost is to America if we don’t act.

Because that’s the real news.


  1. Big Swede

    Western Pravda. Via Klien, WND

    >> President Obama’s presidential campaign focused on “making” the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was “controlled,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.

    “Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn’t absolutely control,” said Dunn.

    “One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters,” said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama’s chief campaign manager.

    “We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it,” Dunn said.<<

    • Jim

      Big deal Swede, the Rebulicans had FNN and Obama used his own people to put forth the message. Sounds like a winning strategy to me.

  2. Duncan Idaho

    Thanks for the link, jhwygirl (though you might want to actually add the link to the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/opinion/18sun1.html rather than making us go through twitter to get there :-). That is a nice concise explanation of the public plan options we might see from the Congress we have (rather than the Congress we might wish to have, i.e. one that would pass single-payer or a public option available to everyone rather just to a small subset of Americans).

    Someone from the Missoula area put up a recommended Daily Kos diary on yesterday’s fundraiser with Tester and Durbin–sounds like the get-together was fairly light in terms of actual speeches and questions. One might take a cynical approach and say that both Senators simply told the audience what they wanted to hear, but on the other hand Tester did go on the record (speaking “forcefully” according to the diarist) in support of a strong public option, which he hasn’t really done till now as far as I’ve read.

  3. problembear

    the majority voice of the public is finally being heard by senators and congresspeople and obama’s staff. now is the time to write real letters and faxes and e-mails to tester, baucus and obama. remember to be polite but firm in supporting a public option which is accessible to everyone.

    forcing us to buy private insurance without an affordable option is not health care reform….it is just more hiway robbery. and giving us no rescission and no pre-existing conditions as part of a plan that does not include a universal public option would only make the costs unaffordable for us and for our employers.

    now is the time to have your voice heard if like me, you have had about enough robbery by health insurance predators.

    • Big Swede

      Maybe you guys should be propping up decaying support by govt. workers, instead.

      >>The stat of the day from the Rasmussen internals? Government workers oppose it by a majority, 55%/43%, with 46% strongly disapproving.<<

  4. Capitalist Case For Nonprofit Health Insurance

    God knows health insurance needs a ‘capitalist’ advocate.

    I have a financial planner client with a piece on Forbes.com currently, titled Capitalist Case For Nonprofit Health Insurance,

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/public-health-insurance-personal-finance-financial-advisor-network-blue-shield.html

    His piece calls for a three level approach to insuring all Americans, at low cost, with risk off-loaded to those best able to handle it:

    1) Primary Care Community Nonprofits: States, regional groups, hospital consortiums and communities would be encouraged to form nonprofit health insurance companies guaranteeing at reduced premiums a primary level of care.

    2) Reinsure Catastrophic Risk: Community nonprofits would be required to do what large companies do when self-insuring, passing risk on to for-profit companies against a financial disaster from big-ticket losses

    3) Create a Federal Health Insurance Corporation: Just as we regulate the banking industry because it is essential, requiring banks to pay insurance premiums to guarantee deposits, the role of the government would be to act as the insurer of last resort,guaranteeing claims above a set amount, allowing private reinsurers to calculate their risks more accurately and set competitive, profitable premium rates.

    The author is John Girouard, who heads the Institute For Financial Independence, and is a financial planner in Bethesda, MD. His book is The Ten Truths Of Wealth Creation. He’s articulate, funny, and a master of his subject.

  5. SeenClearly

    A little bit of an aside:
    “…superMissoulian Ellie Hill…”?? Missoulian yes, but super?…more like: “superSelfPromoter”.




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