Izvestia: the middle ground in health care reform is a public option that's public in name only
Izvestia-on-the-Hudson "reports" today that Senator Schumer, "scorched by Republican opposition to the idea of a new public program like Medicare," (scorched? what're they gonna do, take away his birthday?) offers a "middle ground": a public plan based on a set of principles, the first of which is that it won't be supported by public funds:
The public plan must be self-sustaining. It should pay claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments. It should not receive tax revenue or appropriations from the government.
Yay! What a good idea! Wish I'd thought of that. That should work out about as well as expecting high-quality mass transit to be self-financing. We get miserable, loud, dirty, infrequent buses for the rabble and clean, convenient high-speed trains for the members of the Creative Class. Problem solved. Although our intrepid reporter allows that "some thorny questions remain." Mere details, the contemplation of which will be useful for diverting our attention from the fact that we've just been robbed.
Watch that Overton window, dang it, I think I just got my fingers mangled in it as it slid to the right; the article ends thus:
On Monday, some insurers and Republican lawmakers circulated a video clip of a recent speech by Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, in which she said insurers were right to fear that a public plan option could “put the private insurance industry out of business.” Ms. Schakowsky said that might happen because of “the superiority of the public health care option.”
No mention of what really scares them, which is what we are demanding now: single payer.