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Bill Bennett Must Just Be Confused Too

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"Bill Bennett Must Just Be Confused Too"

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You know it’s bad when arch-conservative Bill Bennett won’t even endorse the Republican presidential candidate’s health care plan.

It’s just the latest chapter in Elizabeth Edwards’ effort to explain the facts on the McCain health plan, which started Saturday at her speech to the Association of Health Care Journalists. While there, Elizabeth Edwards pointed out that she and John McCain had something in common, that neither of them would get coverage under his health plan.

This lead to the McCain campaign calling her “confused” in a piece published by the Los Angeles Times, something Edwards responded to on this blog and then this morning on the Today Show.

When Bill Bennett followed Edwards this morning, the best response he could muster was a generic assertion that the free market could cure the country’s health care crisis, saying, “I think a market approach is going to be the better approach.”

He added that what McCain is trying to do is, “unprecedented,” and because of that, “ We don’t know what the market will provide.” Commenting on whether all persons would be covered under the McCain plan, the best Bennett could do is to say, “It is John McCain’s position, and Dr. Coburn’s position [Republican Senator from Oklahoma, whose health idea McCain's follows], that an influx of that amount of supply [under their plan], if you will, will create possibilities for people that haven’t existed before. So, I don’t think you can rule this out categorically.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/04/bennetthc.320.240.flv]

We can’t rule out that the McCain plan will help people get coverage? We don’t know what the McCain plan will mean? Wow Bill, there is a ringing endorsement. It was a simple enough question, and Bennett couldn’t give a straight forward answer supporting McCain. Bennett got one thing right though, McCain’s idea of trying to move everyone into the individual market is “unprecedented,” mostly because the individual market is broken and conservative ideas to markets like McCain’s would further weaken individual market protections.

I’ll be waiting for the McCain campaign statement that Bennett must be just as “confused” as Edwards on the merits of the McCain plan.

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