Roosevelt Understood the Power of a Public Option

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The public option, a government-run program that would compete with private insurers. Critics have tried to paint it as a wild-eyed experiment, but it echoes F.D.R.'s battles for public power — in fact, the entire New Deal he later created. The argument Roosevelt made — that a government program could fix the flaws in a poorly functioning private market — applies with even more force in health care.

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