Monday, June 15, 2009

Moyers Interviews Robert Reich on "Who Runs Government"

An interview worth your time over at -- click here for the full text:

Teaser quote:

BILL MOYERS: One of the problems with the Clinton health plan when you were Secretary of Labor was that it was too complex to explain to journalists like me, members of Congress, and the public. So in a sentence, if you can, tell me what a true public option would be in healthcare reform.

ROBERT REICH: Well, regardless of what you want to call it, Bill, it could be called liverwurst. I mean, it simply means that the public- average members of the public have a choice, if they want it- of either their private for-profit insurers like they now use or a public not-for-profit insurer.

And that public insurer would resemble ideally Medicare- low administrative costs. And it would have the economies of scale. It would be so large that it could actually negotiate low drug prices and very, kind of low premiums. That's what the private insurers are scared of. That's what the-

BILL MOYERS: Why are they scared of that?

ROBERT REICH: Because that means that their profits will be squeezed. They don't want anything that's going to squeeze their profits. And, they're putting up smoke screens. They're putting up other things that may look like public options but don't have the bargaining leverage to get drug prices down and also to keep the private insurers honest.

Enjoy keeping abreast of the health care crisis and its effect on Washington,


[photo credit in linked article]

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