Obama: If The Private Sector's So Great, Why Worry About Public Option?

I could be wrong, but I just don't remember members of the media jumping to include our views when we were the minority party. Then again, this is C

I could be wrong, but I just don't remember members of the media jumping to include our views when we were the minority party. Then again, this is Charlie Gibson, who's not exactly a flaming liberal:

On the "Nightline" edition of the health care forum, Gibson read the president a letter from Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee expressing concern about the creation of a government-run health care plan.

"At a time when major government programs like Medicare and Medicaid are already on a path to fiscal insolvency, creating a brand new government program will not only worsen our long-term financial outlook but also negatively impact American families who enjoy the private coverage of their choice," the senators wrote.

"The end result would be a federal government takeover of our health care system, taking decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients and placing them in the hands of a Washington bureaucracy."

"They're wrong," the president said, arguing that in a Health Insurance Exchange, the public plan would be "one option among multiple options."

The concern, Gibson articulated, is that such a plan wouldn't be offered on a level playing field.

The president rebuffed that, arguing that "we can set up a public option where they're collecting premiums just like any private insurer and doctors can collect rates," but because the public plan will have lower administrative costs "we can keep them [private insurance companies] honest."

Obama said he didn't understand those advocates of the free market who constantly say the private sector can do things better and are yet worried about this plan.

"If that's the case, no one will choose the public option," the president said. He also suggested, however, that the private sector might not necessarily be better, point out that users of Medicare and Veterans Administration hospitals constantly rate "pretty high satisfaction."

The rest was about what you'd expect - umbrage and horror from Charlie and Diane Sawyer who are always so worried on behalf of any of their friends who are mildly uncomfortable with the concept of paying a few of Their Hard-Earned Dollars so that others might live. You can read a more robust version here.

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