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Sebelius Carries the President’s Water on Health Reform

Morgen on June 16, 2009 at 11:58 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seems to be assuming a much more prominent role in advocating for the President’s health reform plan in the media. Here are some highlights from an interview with the AP today:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Sebelius said that President Barack Obama does not want to drive health insurers out of business, but make them more competitive by offering working families and small businesses the option of a public plan without the high overhead costs of marketing, administration and profits.

The idea of a public plan has drawn sharp opposition from the insurance industry, which sees it as a step toward a government-run system like in Canada or the United Kingdom. Business groups, doctors and hospitals also have concerns. Republicans have made the issue the cornerstone of their opposition to Obama’s health care push. And while liberals enthusiastically support a government plan, conservative Democrats are leery.

Sebelius said that Obama is not trying to run insurers out of town.

The notion that a public option “is really the stalking horse” for a government-run system “is not accurate,” Sebelius said.

We’ve highlighted this video before, but compare/contrast what Sebelius said to the AP today with what she had to say on this topic at a forum at Harvard University in 2007:

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I’m all for a single-payer system…eventually“. In case it’s not clear, the public plan “option” IS the Administration’s strategy for “closing the gap”.

I don’t see how anyone who admittedly prefers a single-payer system…one with NO competition…can now advocate for a public plan strategy on the basis that it will provide MORE competition in the market. This is a contradictory and blatantly dishonest argument. They are not in favor of more competition – the only thing they are in favor of is expanding the nation’s dependance on government-run health care. As I said in my original post, if Secretary Sebelius (and the President) think that a single-payer, fully nationalized system is a “better cause”, than why they can’t be honest with the American people about why the public plan is so critically important to them?

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Category: Health & Education, Politics |

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