Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein has become an imporant voice in the health care debate, with President Obama at one point declaring him “required reading” in the White House. In today’s column, Pearlstein argues that the public plan has become a “a political litmus test imposed on the debate by left-wing politicians and pundits who don’t want to be bothered with the real-life dynamics of the health-care market. It is the Maginot Line of health-care policy, and just like those stubborn French generals, liberal Democrats have vowed to defend it even if it means losing the war.”
He also offers what he says are more effective ways of introducing real competition into the health care market. You can read his column here.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum makes a similar point.