AM Radio

Every Monday, I chat a little health care with Jeff Santos on AM 1510 Revolution Boston. Here’s a link to this morning’s segment.

Since there’s no time code, pretend the progress bar is an hour and start the marker at 8:40am. Happy listening.

Also in health care news, Tim Jost explains why substituting a nonprofit plan for the public option – the latest non-compromise “compromise” floating around – is ridiculous. A snippet:

[J]ust because an entity is nonprofit does not mean it is public service oriented. It simply means it is not distributing profits to shareholders. The idea behind the public plan was to present a choice, not an echo of our already failing insurance system, of which nonprofit insurance plans are a prominent part.

Jacob Hacker weighs in too:

In short, the new compromise proposals are anything but. They represent calls for advocates of the public plan to eat their crumbs and be happy. But a majority of Senators support the public plan. At least two–Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and Senator Burris of Illinois–have said having a real public plan in the legislation is a precondition for their support. Those who believe in the public plan—and, more important, who believe in the principle it embodies: that no American who lacks access to good insurance should be forced to buy coverage from the private plans that got us into our present mess–should stand firm in the face of these non-compromises.

This includes President Obama. He made the public plan part of his promise of change in 2008. Now he needs to put his weight and influence behind the public plan and its essential goals, rather than allow them to be gutted. This is in our nation’s interest. It is also in his and his party’s political interest. A bill that forces people to take private insurance but doesn’t create competition or a public benchmark is a prescription for unaffordable coverage, runaway costs, and political backlash. The “middle ground” is nowhere to stand if it’s going to crumble beneath you.

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