Chuck Schumer kicked ass today talking about giving everyone the choice of a public health insurance plan during the Senate Finance Committee Roundtable Discussion on “Expanding Health Care Coverage.” The panel was heavily weighted in favor of those opposed to giving us a choice, and while insurance industry folks and their conservative friends went on and on about ‘we can do it ourselves’ and ‘unfair competition,’ Schumer made it abundantly clear he ain’t buying the sob story.
Our NY State partners have already thanked him publicly. As soon as I can get a video or transcript up, I’ll post it here. But I assure you, he’s right on the money.
UPDATE: Here’s an unofficial transcript until I can get an official one:
“You don’t want a public plan to have an unfair advantage, I agree. But just as bad as a public plan with an unfair advantage is a proposal with no public plan at all. And I know my college from Kansas (Sen. Roberts) said people don’t want the government involved; well let me tell you, they have problems with the government sometimes but they have a lot more problems with private insurance companies. And the bottom line is you need somebody who is not a private insurance company to be in the mix. And there are many of us who feel very strongly about that. We want to work with you, and I appreciate Ms. Ignagni’s comments to try to see that the playing field is level, because I don’t think the public plan should have an unfair advantage. But it would be giving all of you in the insurance industry an unfair advantage not to have a public plan, particularly give the fast that in so many states we do not have real competition.”