This morning on MSNBC, Igor Volsky, the Wonk Room’s health care blogger and co-author of Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Health Care Reform, defended President Obama’s health care proposal. When host Chris Jansing argued that the Congressional Budget Office is predicting that health care reform would “increase long-term costs facing the government,” Igor noted that the CBO released a statement last night stating that the House bill would be deficit-neutral.
Igor debated Robert Goldberg, the president of the industry–funded Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. Towards the end of the segment, Goldberg attacked Igor, saying, “I can’t believe I’m hearing a liberal think tank support systematically restricting minorities from access to quality care.” Igor noted that “no one is restricting minorities, Robert — what are you talking about?” Goldberg revealed that his real problem is that he hates Medicaid:
GOLDBERG: If you’re a Medicaid recipient, you are not allowed to take a voucher and go to a plan that you think is good for you. You are forced to stay into Medicaid. Do you think that’s right or wrong? Yes or no?
IGOR: I think Medicaid provides essential services for many Americans that the private market simply can’t provide, which is why we’re expanding Medicaid. … It’s not putting people into Medicaid against their will.
Igor also noted that the motive behind including a public health insurance option for all Americans is to ensure everyone is given access to a solid benefits plan regardless of their income or class. Watch it: