Health

Quote Machine: Wasserman Schultz Catching Flak for Renaming Public Option

Does "consumer option" sound more inviting than "public option"? How about "competitive option"? In case it does, Fox News is warning its partisan audience that whatever West Broward Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi call it, it's still a "public option" -- which still translates to the dreaded "big government."

Normally, efforts to re-brand public policy, deserve the eye rolls they get. But then you look at polls like this one, which suggest that roughly a quarter of the population has a knee-jerk opposition to policies that sound public option-y but who will reverse that opposition if the same plan is described as giving them a "choice" between a government health care plan and a private one. It's roughly the difference between a plan that only half of Americans support and one that three-quarters of Americans' support.

So if it boils down to semantics, and if -- as those polls attest -- opponents of the public option don't understand the public option, why not try re-packaging it?


KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis