Pelosi: Hey, let's start calling the public option by another name

I kind of like this one, just because it’s so shameless in its Orwellianism. If you’re going to go for “black = white” Newspeak, really go for it, you know? Now think: If you were trying to sell a policy like the public option, the big fear of which is that it’s going to drive private insurers out of business and lead to a single-payer government monopoly, what’s the most Orwellian euphemism you could come up with for it? Think hard.


In an appearance at a Florida senior center, the Democratic leader referred to the so-called public option as “the consumer option.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., appeared by Pelosi’s side and used the term “competitive option.”

Both suggested new terminology might get them past any lingering doubts among the public – or consumers or competitors.

“You’ll hear everyone say, ‘There’s got to be a better name for this,'” Pelosi said. “When people think of the public option, public is being misrepresented, that this is being paid for with their public dollars.”…

“I think she’s going to go up and test-drive it when she goes back to Washington,” Wasserman Schultz said. “It might stick.”

It’s not going to be paid for with public dollars? Wasn’t this the same woman who, not three weeks ago, went on Charlie Rose to mumble about maybe passing a VAT to address health-care costs and giant deficits more generally? Hello?

Then again, let’s remember what kind of intellect we’re dealing with here. Exit question: Why does the public option need rebranding? I thought the lefty talking point of the month was that the public loves loves loves the public option, even though it really doesn’t.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023