During an interview, Kent Conrad accidentally revealed how his brain snaps into GOP Talking Points mode waaaaay too easily. Either that, or he's frighteningly clueless about healthcare.
Senator Conrad recently praised the French and German healthcare systems. Why? Because, he said, they don't have "government-run healthcare." As we all know, they have public insurance, but private services. Duh. And in the following interview with Ezra Klein, Conrad continued to appear confused:
EZRA: In France, for instance, the insurance really is government-run. The vast majority of people are on public insurance, and there's private supplementary insurance atop that. So too with Japan. They're not confined to simply subsidizing the poor.
CONRAD: But it's not government-run. The doctors and hospitals are private. ...
Yes, that's right. But Klein was talking about health insurance -- not the whole system. No one in America is calling for a total takeover of the system. Just health insurance. That's all, and single-payer isn't really even on the table. But I think Kent Conrad believes single-payer is the same as the British system. It's not. Single-payer is the French, Japanese, German and Canadian systems. Which Conrad said he likes!
What's happening here is Conrad is trying to spread the GOP fallacy that the public option would lead to a government takeover of everything -- hospitals, doctors, all of it. It wouldn't. It's just a Republican/Luntz scare tactic and there's no evidence that the public option would lead to this at all. And if Conrad isn't actively attempting to spread this lie, then he's very simply an idiot. Why, then, is he so instrumental in healthcare reform is he can't even grasp the basics?
Dday also weighs in here.