On Fox News Sunday today, Howard Dean went head to head with Mike Huckabee on the public option. When Huckabee said that the public option would put the private sector out of business, Dean said, “There’s not going to, nobody’s going to put the private sector out of business. That doesn’t happen even in places like Germany or France or Britain.”
Here is a transcript of their exchange:
HUCKABEE: I’m not here to defendant private insurance companies, but to make it as if Medicare is wonderful and never makes a mistake, and the private insurance companies are demons — the facts just don’t always bear that out.
WALLACE: Let me…
DEAN: Well, Medicare can…
WALLACE: Well, go ahead. DEAN: … make mistakes, but let us have our choice. We can leave Medicare if we want to under the system that’s in the House…
HUCKABEE: But not if there’s not…
DEAN: … and go back to the private sector.
HUCKABEE: … a system to go to. If the private…
DEAN: Sure there is, in the private sector.
HUCKABEE: … system goes out of business, there won’t be any.
DEAN: There’s not going to — nobody’s going to put the private sector out of business. That doesn’t happen even in places like Germany or France or Britain.
Fifteen percent of all the dollars are private dollars, even in Britain, which is the most socialized system in the west.
Huckabee could not make his argument against the public option without resorting to fear mongering because opposition the public plan has nothing to do with facts, and everything to do with ideology. If Republicans had any facts to support their opposition then they might be able to make a persuasive case, but the facts support the public option.
Dean is correct. No one is talking about a complete government takeover of healthcare, but the only way Republicans can drum up opposition to reform is to illogically jump from point A to point D in their argument. There will be plenty of room in the market for the private sector because the public option is only designed to cover 6 million people.
Dean leveled Huckabee’s claims simply by pointing out that a public option does not equal government run healthcare, but some people will keep drinking the GOP Favor-Aid, and they won’t believe facts even when they are laid out in front of them. Something tells me that the only thing the Fox News audience heard was government takeover of healthcare.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association