How quickly one's perception of public opinion transforgifies! Last week, the public plan seemed to be, well, dead. (It wasn't, but that was the perception.)
The two associations representing health insurance plans that cover 200 million Americans are now reminding members of Congress that they oppose adding a government option to the health care reform bills in Congress. The Association of Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield contend that a government-run plan -- "no matter how it is initially structured" -- would "dismantle employer-based coverage, significantly increase costs for those who remain in private coverage, and add additional liabilities for those who remain in private coverage."
"Recognizing the substantial disruption to consumers and health care providers that a government plan based on Medicare would create, some policymakers are looking at alternatives that would attempt to achieve a level playing field," the industry's lobbyists writes. "We do not believe that it is possible to create a government plan that could operate on a level playing field."
The associations released their letter on the morning that President Obama uses the presidential pulpit to urge Congress to continue its work.
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.