Rep. Tom Price: Public Option Will Cheat

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The American Conservative Union, one of the co-sponsors of Saturday’s big anti-government rally in DC, is holding its Legacy Council conference in DC today. All the congressional Republican conservatives will be there pow-wowing with the activists. One group that won’t be: the media. ACU tells me that the only way for a reporter to get in is to pay the nearly $400 cover charge. Fortunately for us, ACU is Twittering its own event so we can see what we’re missing.

Among the gems: Rep. Tom Price, the Republican doctor from Georgia, just told conferees that he believed that the public option—the supposed market competitor—would cheat to get ahead of the honest private companies competing to cover all those uninsured Americans who can’t afford their products now.

I love how a few weeks ago, the GOP message was that the government would be so good at running an insurance plan that private insurers wouldn’t have a chance. But then they realized that made government look effective, defeating their other messages about government as the problem. So the new message is that the government plan would simply cheat. Nice! Wish Price had said just how the government would actually do that.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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