click here other day I was watching Hardball and Chris Matthews introduced one of his regular panels composed of that hairless former McCain staffer and the sad-eyed "Democratic strategist" Steve McMahon. Matthews ballyhooed that the panel would be debating healthcare and, remarkably, that McMahon has "clients involved in the healthcare debate."
Clients in the healthcare debate, eh? Okay, that could mean anything. McMahon owns a media consulting firm and he used to work for Al Gore, Howard Dean and Senator Kennedy, so he could be one of us and therefore he might use this panel to debunk some of the ridiculous lies floating around the president's public option plan.
McMahon not only came out against passing a government-run public health insurance option, but claimed that the president should go for 80 votes in the Senate with a "compromise" healthcare bill. It gets worse. McMahon implied that the public option is a "controversial" idea from the left, so 80 votes and no public option, he claimed, would make "everyone happy."
That's rich. Everyone happy, McMahon?
More on "making everyone happy" presently, but first I want to address this line about how the public option is a controversial, left-wing measure. Naturally, the Republicans, along with private health insurers and the cowardly Blue Dogs agree with McMahon -- they want to scare you and your representatives into believing that the public option is some sort of wicked controversial third rail. It'll be, as McMahon called it, "a great big fight" so it ought to be avoided. Ballsy! They're trying to pass this off as somehow a left-wing moonbat idea totally divorced from the mainstream. You know the trick: if they can marginalize it, they can kill it.
But of course this "controversial left" meme is completely and totally a lie. Fact: The public option enjoys incontrovertible, super-majority support across all demographic sectors. How do we know this? A poll from Consumer Reports:
...66 percent of Americans support having the option of a public health insurance plan as part of health care reform. [...] A clear majority across all demographic sectors supported creating a public plan.
I don't see a lot of gray area in the words "a clear majority across all demographic sectors." But wait. There's more.
73% of voters want everyone to have a choice of private health insurance or a public health insurance plan while only 15% want everyone to have private insurance. [...] What's more, the preference for a choice of a public or private plan appeals to everyone -- Republicans (63%), Democrats (77%) and Independents (79%).
63 percent. Of Republicans. Support the public option. IEEEE! Avoid! Avoid!
Do I need to go on?
...about two-thirds (67%) of U.S. residents "strongly" or "somewhat" favor establishing a public health insurance option "similar to Medicare," with about 80% of Democrats, 60% of independents and 49% of Republicans in favor of such a plan.
67 percent. Tell me again how this is a controversial, far-left idea. McMahon.
And finally, a poll from and outfit called EBRI on support (or not) for the public option:
• Strongly support--53 percent
• Somewhat support--30 percent
• Somewhat oppose--5 percent
• Strongly oppose--9 percent
Altogether, 83 percent favor the public option and 14 percent are opposed. Controversial!
Now, you might be asking, What the hell is EBRI? Briefly, it's a conservative non-profit organization called the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and according to their website, this particular poll was paid for by such far-left moonbat groups as: