Not Making the Sale

August 17, 2009 5:38 a.m.

From TPM Reader TL

When critics of Health Care Reform say that Congress and the Administration are not doing enough to explain the options, I believe they have a good point. For instance, how much less savings is there with a national non-profit that bundles existing insurance options and lowers costs from the huge pool of insured, versus a public option. Is a public option doctors working for the government in a kind of Kaiser Permanente run by the feds? I believe people can understand that discussion.

I don’t think the public option is well understood. And there is a reason for that–no one is selling it very effectively. The cooperative may be easier for people to get their minds around unless the Administration has the confidence to lay out the public option step by step in a public relations tour. It is probably too late now to do it, but if it was so damned important, they should have done that. How will it work, what will it look like to those that use it. Who will have it as an option. Those are legitimate questions few understand because no one has been talking about them.

Criticizing the crazies is easy, but when the good guys have so little to say that really matters, I am not sure it is enough. If they don’t settle on a plan and then sell it hard, it isn’t going to matter whether it is a public option or a co-op. The wingnuts will attack whatever they come up with and so far the push back has just not been very good.

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