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Pulling a Sebelius

by: catchlightning

Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 13:51:05 PM EDT

cross-posted at Daily Kos

The New York Times editorial writers have their brains tied up in knots.  Today's lead editorial "The Public Plan" abandons any semblance of clarity.  In a single editorial, they refer to the public plan as both "not indispensable" and "the best way to give Americans real choice".

At least it took Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a couple of days to accomplish that kind of gymnastic maneuver.

catchlightning :: Pulling a Sebelius
But The Times editorial's gymnastics don't end there.

All of the current versions of health care reform would create insurance exchanges, where tens of millions of uninsured Americans, people who lack group coverage and workers in small businesses could buy policies from either private insurers or a new government-run program.

Two paragraphs later, though, they write:

While the idea of a public plan makes good sense to us, it is not indispensable. It has nothing to do with covering the uninsured. And its ability to reform the hospitals and other providers of medical care to hold down the cost of care (and premiums) is unclear.

The pretzel making continues in the very next paragraph:

But, if done right, a public plan would bring real benefits. It would probably be able to charge lower premiums than many private plans because it would not be profit driven and might be better able to negotiate or demand low prices from hospitals and doctors.

The reader now thoroughly confounded, seeks a happy ending.  And, mercifully, all's well that ends well:

We are frankly skeptical that any compromise will be enough to satisfy Republican opponents of health care reform. If the White House and Democratic leaders decide to go it alone, and they may well have to, they should restore a robust public plan. It is the best way to give Americans real choice.
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Is it any wonder the NYT is bleeding readership,Money,influence (0.00 / 0)
and any other asset the "newspaper of record" once held.Their editorial board are scared of their own shadow.

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