Before I go on to the good news, let’s take a look at this paragraph from yesterday’s Washington Post (by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen):
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.
It’s good news, yes, but note the phrase “government-run health-care plan.” Will you allegedly nonpartisan reporters please stop using code terms churned out by the right-wing propaganda machine? The more accurate phrase is “public insurance option.”
Now let’s check out what Deirdre Walsh at CNN has to say:
A preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office projects that the House Democrats’ health care plan that includes a public option would cost $871 billion over 10 years, according to two Democratic sources.
Ooo, cost. Bad, bad. But let’s go on to the second and third paragraphs:
CBO also found that the Democrats’ bill reduces the deficit in the first 10 years.
This new CBO estimate, which aides caution is not final, is significantly less than the $1.1 trillion price tag of the original House bill that passed out of three committees this summer. More importantly, it comes under the $900 billion cap set by President Obama in his joint address to Congress last month.
Here’s the best part:
Moderate, “blue dog” Democrats in the House largely oppose the robust public option and instead argue for a government run insurance option that could negotiate reimbursement rates directly with doctors and hospitals. CBO’s analysis of that approach was not available according to Democratic sources, but aides say the preliminary analysis shows it does not save as much as the approach pushed by Pelosi.
Mike Soraghan of The Hill says that some Dems want to re-brand the public option “Medicare Part E,” as in Medicare for Everyone. Mostly a good idea, says Publius. Interesting, but could cause other problems, says Jonathan Singer.
If they do it, get out your stopwatches and time how many seconds it takes before Republicans are bad-mouthing Medicare again.