Blanche Lincoln: No on Public Option
So reports the Arkansas News, which found the Arkansas Democratic senator in Little Rock Tuesday telling a group of reporters that the public option represents a new entitlement program that the country can’t afford.
I’m not going to vote for a bill that’s not deficit-neutral, and I’m not going to vote for a bill that doesn’t do something about curbing the cost in the out years, because it would be pointless … I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can’t afford that.
Of course, there’s a lot of hedging going on in that statement, which seems to leave room for a public option that would be created by the government but funded solely by patient premiums — the model many Democrats hope to enact. The patient savings, under such a plan, would arise because the government wouldn’t have an enormous advertising budget, wouldn’t pay its executives millions of dollars, and doesn’t have any fiduciary duty to shareholders.
Of course, until the Senate Finance Committee unveils its bill, most of these lawmaker claims, for-and-against individual provisions, are speculative. We’d probably be better off to ignore them until then.
h/t: The Hill.