Scarborough Concedes Public Option Is ‘Not A Government Takeover Of Health Care’

During his “great talk” on health care this morning with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) observed that the insurance lobby “has done a pretty good job somehow getting people standing up in town meetings defending the poor downtrodden insurance industries. It’s a pretty remarkable thing.”

“I have yet to hear that,” Scarborough responded. “Well why are people against the public plan?” Weiner asked. Scarborough responded with this astonishing admission:

SCARBOROUGH: Because they’ve seen over the past six months government grow, they believe at too rapid of a rate and they’re skeptical. I don’t think there has been an explanation of how the government plan is not equal to the government takeover of health care — which we all know it’s not a government takeover of health care but that’s how it sounds to people.

Watch it:

It’s about time Scarborough conceded the truth. In fact, a “government takeover” of health care has never been in any plan and is merely rhetoric cooked up by GOP strategist Frank Luntz to try to kill reform. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Scarborough from previously advancing this false claim:

SCARBOROUGH: You are sitting here telling us unless the federal government steps in and takes over health care, the President’s a loser and you’re a right winger for being concerned. […]

MATTHEWS: This kind of argument has been very successful at defeating health care, the kind you’re having now.

SCARBOROUGH: Oh great so what do you want to do Chris? Do you want the federal government to take over health care?

Moreover, at least two GOP congressman, Mike Pence (IA) and Paul Ryan (MN), have made this false claim in interviews with Scarborough on MSNBC, but Scarborough failed to correct them.


“Because they know they cannot win the argument honestly, Republicans are resorting to mendacity,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala said of Luntz’s anti-reform memo. It’s good to see that Scarborough finally caught on.