Defending the Obama administration’s government-run health insurance option, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday:

I think if you listen to the debate on Capitol Hill about health care you’re likely to hear two very important words: choice and competition. A public option that you’re referring to is nothing more than the ability to provide more choice through competition. Those, I think, are values that you’ll hear throughout this debate as being held near and dear to the hearts of not just people on Capitol Hill, but throughout the country. And the President and Congress are working to design health care reform that provides more choice and more competition.

Now listen to UC Berkeley professor Jacob Hacker talk about the political benefits of selling public option as “choice” and “competition”:


Hacker explicitly says: “One of the virtues of it, though, is that you can at least make the claim that there is a competitive system between the public and private sectors.” But what is the ultimate goal of the government-run insurance option? Hacker explains: “Someone once said to me this is a Trojan Horse for single-payer, and I said, well its not a Trojan Horse, right? It’s just right there.”

Heritage’s Walter Francis details how a new public plan will lead to single-payer health care here.

Reason’s Ronald Bailey makes a similar case here.