Lynn Woolsey: The 'Public Option Is Still On The Table'

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, chair of the largest caucus in Congress -- the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- refuted Fox's daylong talking point, that President Obama somehow took the public option off the table in his speech last night health-care reform, earlier today on Fox with Jon Scott:

Woolsey: I applauded, because ... public option is on the table. There's no question about it.

Scott: It's on the table, but it didn't seem to have his -- you know, it wasn't his ... He didn't say it's got to be there.

Woolsey: Well, he knows that 84 members of the Progressive Caucus, and many, many members besides ourselves are absolutely intent on the public option being part of the House health-care reform bill.

Scott: What's your chief argument for why you think it's got to be there?

Woolsey: Because it's the best way to cut costs and bring competition into the program, and actually to bring security for those who are already covered by health care, and might lose their jobs or want to change jobs, and want to have a choice. And one of those choices could be the public option.

Scott: You don't think that the free market would be the more efficient way to deliver that?

Woolsey: Well, has it been? Fifty years, private health-care insurance companies have not been able to do the job. Why would we think they could do it now?

Scott: What about Medicare and Medicaid? Are they examples of well-run, you know, government programs for dispensing medical care?

Woolsey: They're very popular programs, sir, as is the Veterans Administration and the military health care. Those are government programs that run well, they run at an overhead of less than 5 to 7 percent, versus 30 percent for the private health care insurance companies.

Funny that Scott should bring up precisely the programs that prove that "government run health care" can be a good thing. Woolsey hit that meaty pitch right out of the park.

Hopefully, she's right about the public option, too.

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