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Press Release

Taxpayer Group's Question for MoveOn: Why Stop at a Public Option for Health Care?

For Immediate Release October 29, 2009
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

(Alexandria, VA) -- If it's good enough for health care, why not have a "public option" for cheese or cola? That's the tongue-in-cheek question the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) asked in a letter this week to the Executive Director of, Justin Ruben, regarding a recent advertisement sponsored by the liberal organization. In the letter, NTU's Director of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan discusses what supporting the "public option" in the health care debate really means for the rest of the profitable industries in the U.S. Moylan takes issue with the statement in MoveOn's advertisement that, "Competition is as American as apple pie" and how MoveOn suggests that a "public option" and private competition are not mutually exclusive entities.

NTU has, and always will stand behind efforts that promote competition and other free-market ideals. But as Moylan noted, the proposal of a "public option" for health care does no such thing. By the way MoveOn defines them, one could easily think that the words competition and "government-run" were synonymous. Moylan asserts that most reasonable people would disagree with MoveOn's analysis. Likewise, suggesting that a public option plan equates to competition instead of what it really entails (complete and total government control of your health care) is disingenuous at best.

Moylan points out in the letter, if the public option is such a good thing for health care industry, why stop at that industry? What about imposing "competition" on other profitable industries? Moylan referred Ruben to the North American Industry Classification System booklet published by the U.S. Department of Commerce for possible public option candidates. "It is comprised of over 1,400 pages listing the many industries in this country that deserve a run for their money from the federal government (or at least, any money they may have left after they pay taxes)," he quipped.

As Moylan demonstrates, it's hard to take such a ridiculous proposition seriously, so he took MoveOn's recent advertisement for what it was worth -- zero, as far as its contribution to the health care reform debate. "While the advertisement was amusing, MoveOn cannot confuse the facts," Moylan explained in deciding to write the letter. "A 'public option' will provide no option at all."

NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom.