Sen. Jay Rockefeller, arguing this morning in favor of amending the Senate Finance Committee bill to include a government-run health care plan, claimed that his approach would have been supported by the intellectual father of capitalism, Adam Smith.
Rockefeller blasted the current draft of the bill, authored by committee Chairman Max Baucus, for being a massive handout to insurers. Insurers would get a half a billion dollars in subsidies, he said, and though the bill imposes a raft of new regulations on the industry, they’d easily be able to get around them if there weren’t a government-run plan to keep them in check.
While liberals have long appropriated free market terms such as “choice” and “competition” to promote the creation of a new government-run plan, Rockefeller went even further, explicitly claiming that it was a “free market” idea.
“I think Adam Smith would have cooked up this amendment,” he added.
I wrote about how to get real competition in the health insurance market here.