[H/t to Dave E.]
Yesterday, in demolishing Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barasso, he took a wrecking ball to the No. 1 Fox talking point of recent months -- that the public option in health-care reform equals a "government takeover." Here's what Smith said:
SMITH: It’s not a government takeover, Senator! That’s not fair and we both know it. It’s not a government takeover because what it would be is a government option if you have insurance now and you like it you can keep it. … That’s not a government takeover if we’re being fair is it Senator?
Then he launched into an ardent defense of the public option
SMITH: Over the last 10 years health care costs in American have skyrocketed. Regular folks cannot afford it, so they tax the system by not getting preventive medicine. And we all end up paying for it. As the costs have gone up, the insurance industry's profits, on average, have gone up 350 percent. And it's the insurance companies which have paid and which have contributed to senators and congressmen on both sides of the aisle to the point where now we can't get what all concerned on Capitol Hill all seem to [believe] and more than 60 percent of Americans say they support, a public option.
Every vote against the public option is a vote for the insurance companies.
And for good measure, he points out what a travesty it would be for Congress to pass a reform measure with mandates but without a public option:
SMITH: What more than 60 percent of Americans say they support is a public option. This has been an enormous win for the health care industry. That is an unquestioned fact, but I wonder, what happens to the American people when we come out with legislation now which requires everyone to have health care insurance -- or many more people -- but does not give a public option? Therefore millions more people will have to buy insurance from the very corporations that are overcharging us, and whose profits have gone up 350 percent in the last ten years. It seems like we the people are the ones getting the shaft here.
One can only imagine Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck watching this from the fetal position.