One thing that has bothered me about this debate is the annoyingly effective characterization, by the GOP, of the public option as more of the spendy bleeding-heart socialism that Fox News viewers have come to expect from the ultra-liberal Obama Administration and the Marxist Democratic leaders in Congress.
But the reality is that the option that (it's fairly clear) the Administration wants is very much TO THE POLITICAL RIGHT of a single payer option (much to the chagrin of many progressives), which hasn't even been discussed this time around. Why wasn't it discussed? Because Baucus ruled it out from the beginning. Now, he concedes that was a mistake.
In the interview, Mr. Baucus said he has tried to keep everyone at the table — a tactic he honed discussing tax issues in Montana. “If you don’t like something, suspend judgment for 15 minutes and let’s find a way to get to yes,” Mr. Baucus said.
He conceded that it was a mistake to rule out a fully government-run health system, or a “single-payer plan,” not because he supports it but because doing so alienated a large, vocal constituency and left Mr. Obama’s proposal of a public health plan to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.