Are Democrats really about to re-brand the public option? According to The Hill (via Slatest), Democrats think the term "public option" is too confusing -- it certainly isn't specific -- and they'd like to replace it with something more like Medicare. Slate's Ron Rosenbaum said earlier this month that public option was the worst phrase ever, but his suggestions -- like government-run insurance program -- didn't quite tickle the pleasure centers. So I suggested my own ideas and frankly they were pretty bad, too.
But look! Commenter "mgoodfel" wrote under my article: "You could call it Medicare." Ding! What do we have for the winner?
Fame and glory I guess, although I'll bet mgoodfel, who's a steadfast opponent of the Democrats' health care reform, doesn't seek much glory from a move that could help Dems push through a bill with a public option ... or whatever its called. My response to his comment is here:
The name change is probably overdue. Back in June, National Journal's Mark Blumenthal noted that when the public option was linked to Medicare, it received a boost in popularity. In this CBS poll, a Medicare-type government plan received 72 percent support. Of course, polls have their own framing biases and as today's Gallup report helpfully reminds, "In U.S., 39% Say View on Healthcare "Depends" on Details." I should say so.
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