Public Option

I wonder if he’s right:

The Senate has the 50 votes necessary to pass a public health insurance option using the budget reconciliation process, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday.

Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” who supports the government-run plan, urged President Barack Obama to push for the public option even though the possibility of passing it appeared to die this week.

“I think we do have 50 votes in the Senate for a public option and frankly I don’t know why the president has not put it in and I hope that we can inject it,” Sanders said on MSNBC. “I think it’s a very important part of healthcare reform.”

It’s not clear if Sanders’s remarks will encourage leaders to take up the public option, but they will surely give hope to his liberal supporters who have put pressure on Congress to pass a public plan.

The White House and Democratic leaders on Tuesday threw cold water on the possibility of pushing the proposal through, saying that there is not enough support in Congress to do so.

2 thoughts on “Public Option

  1. I wonder if Bernie Sanders really is a socialist in any sense that makes him more socialist than today’s progressives/liberals.

    For that matter, I wonder if Bernie Sanders really is a socialist in any sense that makes him more socialist than today’s American public, given the solid majorities who want to see Social Security and Medicare, at least, continue, right along with our public schools.

    Or the majorities who want to see health care somehow made available to all, or nearly all, Americans.

    Other than health care, health insurance, or education, are there industries in private hands he would like to see nationalized or replaced entirely by public providers?

    Are there areas outside health care, health insurance, or education where he would favor introducing public providers to compete with or supplement private ones?

    National Health would both socialize health care altogether and completely eliminate the market niche for health insurance.

    Medicare for all would amount to complete socialization of health insurance though not of health care.

    The public option would be a sort of public provider competing with private providers on the health insurance market, while public subsidies for premiums to buy private insurance are no more socialism than Democrat favored food stamps or Republican favored school vouchers.

    Conventional liberal opinion, I think, embraces all of these options regarding health care, health insurance, and education, leaving school vouchers.

    But outside those areas I don’t see anything else liberals/progressives want to socialize.

    Is there anything outside those areas Bernie Sanders wants to socialize?

    What, for gosh sakes?

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