Extra Fizz: Cantwell "Unsung Hero"

By Josh Feit September 29, 2009

UPDATE: Public Option loses 13-10

From the NYT public option liveblogging.

Sen. Schumer begins this way:

A nod to Ms. Cantwell| 12:27 p.m. Mr. Schumer is giving a tutorial in why there is so little competition in the insurance marketplace. Along the way, he gives a nod to Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, whom he calls “the unsung hero” of the bill for her amendment on costs, which will be brought up later.

Watch the hearings live here.

And more on Sen. Cantwell:

A Democratic Dig | 2:14 p.m. Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, speaks in favor of the public option. But first, she slyly makes the point that if a state renders health care efficiently — a state, like, oh, say, North Dakota, home to Mr. Conrad, who opposes a public option — that state would be rewarded for its efficiency. Mr. Conrad was just returning to his seat as she was finishing her point, so it is not clear whether her fellow Democrat caught her drift.

I'm not sure Sen. Cantwell is right about that. Part of the problem with the public option right now is that it's tied to Medicare payouts. And unless the Medicare payout system is changed to reward efficiency (something, admittedly, Sen. Cantwell and others—like Washington Rep. Jay Inslee— are trying to do),  North Dakota will actually take a hit with a public option.
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