If Health Care Push Fails, Blame Dems
Public wants a public option; why do 'centrists' oppose it?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 10:48 AM CDT
President Barack Obama meets with Senate Democrats to discuss health care, Tuesday, June 2, 2009. From left are Max Baucus and Kent Conrad, both health care 'centrists.'   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Now ought to be a good time to reform health care. With costs up and coverage down, polls show the public overwhelmingly favors change. Unfortunately, “a handful of Democratic senators are still determined to party like it’s 1993,” writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. These so-called “centrists” want to kill the best reform idea: a public insurance option that drives down costs through competition.

Again, polls show the public favors that idea, and if the center is the position held by most Americans, these “centrists” are in right field. And they seem utterly incapable of explaining their opposition. Ben Nelson of Nebraska called it a “deal breaker” because private insurers wouldn’t be able to compete with it. Asks Krugman: “Um, isn’t the purpose of health care reform to protect American citizens, not insurance companies?”