Michael Steele appeared this morning on CBS, and was asked by host Harry Smith whether he believes the public option is socialist. “Yes I do,” he said. “And quite frankly I think a lot more people believing (sic) that there’s more to this than meets the eye.”
Steele explained: “And the reality of it is, you know, I just don’t understand this idea that somehow people think that the federal government can enter into a marketplace and compete with private industry. That goes counter to everything that we know about how markets work and the role that the government plays in those markets.”
Harry Smith asked Steele if he thinks that the public option is socialism, then what is Medicare? “Medicare is a government-run program that is not doing that well,” Steele said, also adding: “how often do we have to do another reset on Medicare because it’s in default or running out of money?”
Smith then asked about how people say they don’t want the public option, but don’t mess with my Medicare. Steele responded: “Yeah, I know that, and that’s now a party of the system here”
Note that Steele continues to criticize Medicare for being a financial burden, without getting into a problem he’s been confronted with before — that Medicare’s current problems come from the Republicans, who passed the very expensive Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, without raising any taxes or cutting other spending in order to pay for it.