There’s more (again) on the public plan today as health overhaul efforts move forward, while other writers are looking at charges of propaganda the AMA, health insurance exchanges and conflicts of interest.
The Hill reported Tuesday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to ask the Democratic House caucus to unite behind a “strong public plan option” today. The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn examines the news and says “Pelosi’s actions have provoked two very different reactions from within the [pro] reform community: Glee and fear.”
FiveThiryEight’s Nate Silver, a longtime poll watcher, gives 1o reasons he thinks an “impure” public option will is gaining momentum “(probably)”, including “the fact that the CBO thinks it will save money,” along with “Polls in myriad swing states and swing districts showing the public option is reasonably popular in these region.”
Critical Condition’s Kellyanne Conwaycalls Washington Post/ABC poll highlighting support for a public plan option “agenda-driven polling,” arguing: “Our side has not done enough to discredit and expose the positive-sounding “public option” for what it truly is: a government grab of one of the most intimate matters people face, and one about which most of them are presently content. Additionally, “private” is the opposite of public, and privacy is an important word in the overall health-care lexicon. We should message this aspect of “public option” as well.”
Perhaps illustrating Conway’s point, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein thinks Sen. Ben Nelson’s shiffting comments, from “’states can opt out of the public option’ rather than ‘no public option at all’ suggests the goal posts on this are moving, and rapidly.”
Elsewhere, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey is outraged by the fact that “One official government website now includes a form to express support of Dear Leader President Obama’s effort to overhaul the American medical system, a clear violation of laws against executive-branch propaganda through public channels.” (cross-out his). Morrissey notes: “Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting an explanation because of concerns that the button could violate rules governing executive-branch promotion through public channels.
Morrissey concludes, “it’s impossible to read this as anything but propaganda for the White House. And what happens to the contact information entered in the form? Does that get used by Barack Obama for his re-election campaign?”
The New York Times’ Katharine Seelye reports that protestors are planning on showing up at the health insurance industry’s (AHIP) conference later this week.
The Heritage Foundation interviews conservative commentator Bill Kristol who believes “Obamacare will … fail.”
Linda Gorman on John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog asks “who does the [American Medical Association] really represent?”
Bill Kramer on the Health Care Blog says now is the “last chance to fix” health insurance exchanges.
And Louise Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider, jumping off an Oct. 5th post about conflicts of interest among hospital boards, examines one in Colorado and says, “In order to make health insurance premiums (the direct cost that consumers tend to notice) more affordable, we have to make health care more affordable. Perhaps filling our hospital board of director rosters with a Who’s Who of the richest people in the city isn’t the best way to go about that mission.”