In the latest installment of Who Wants to Decipher Harry Reid Over the Phone (i.e., another "tele-town hall"), we find our Senate majority leader declaring that a public option "trigger" is "a pretty doggone good idea." Sayeth Harry:
The lone Republican who's still talking like she might support health care reform is Snowe from Maine. And here's what she came up with, which is a pretty doggone good idea. She said "OK, here's what I'm willing to consider. We will set standards, goals that insurance companies must meet. And if they don't do it by a time certain, then we have a public option."
I think that is better than this so-called co-op that they're talking about. My first choice is a public option, because I think it will create competition and make the insurance companies more honest. And my number two choice is the trigger, that is, that Snowe talked about. Number three is a co-op.
Doggone indeed. First he channels Jim Gibbons. Now he's channeling the rhetorical stylings of Sarah Palin.
Nancy Pelosi, by the by, says "a trigger is an excuse for not doing anything." But her statement and Reid's statement might not be mutually exclusive, at least from Reid's point of view. That is, he may think "an excuse for not doing anything" is "a pretty doggone good idea."
Meantime, at another point while phoning it in to his constituents, Reid explained for the 634th time how the health insurance industry enjoys an anti-trust exemption and the only other industry that is so blessed is major league baseball (they still play major league baseball?) so Congress should get rid of the health insurance exemption, "which we are going to do."
Actually, a story in The Hill reported Thursday that Reid fears including repeal of the exemption in health care legislation because it "risks damaging prospects for an effort already facing significant hurdles."
And in other trenchant health care policy analysis, Reid asserted that if his wife went in for a foot operation and saw that the doctors were about to perform surgery on the wrong foot, she wouldn't say a word, because she is that painfully shy. Yes. It was a very awkward phone call.