Dems: Let's Just Call 'Public Option' Medicare

House Reps suggest rebranding government-run plan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2009 2:30 PM CDT
Mike Ross says he's in favor of rebranding the public option, a strange move given his longstanding opposition to it.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
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(Newser) – Some House Democrats think the public option would sound better if they renamed it “Medicare,” or maybe “Medicare Part E,” as in “Medicare for Everyone.” They think that rebranding could bridge the gap between liberals and centrists who oppose the plan. “People don’t know what a public option is,” a spokesman for Jim Oberstar tells the Hill. “Medicare is a public option.”

The rebranding has even drawn support from Blue Dog leader Mike Ross, who has been an outspoken opponent of a public plan. Other Democrats, however, say that there’s no need for a rebranding; the public option already has popular support, despite opposition attempts to describe it as a government takeover. “It keeps polling better and better as a public health insurance option,” said one aide. “I don’t think it’s changing.”