Last Thursday at the St. Louis state senate hearing on whether to create a health care exchange in Missouri, Dave Smith, a lobbyist for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, tried to be neutral. Since he was there to debunk certain ‘myths’ about exchanges and since all of the myths were ideas propounded by Republicans, the “neutral” stance was more of a polite fiction than a reality. It was almost by way of apology to his Republican brethren on the panel. He himself is a Republican and Lord knows Anthem isn’t owned by Democrats. But after all, the idea of health care exchanges isn’t a liberal idea. It was first proposed a number of years ago by the Heritage Foundation. Professor Sidney Watkins made that point in the video I posted last week (at 8:13 in the video).
Although Smith wasn’t willing to say so explicitly, his remarks led to the conclusion that the exchange would be sound public policy for officials in either party.
We can always hope that the Republican senators will take that point of view into account and ignore the unsubstantiated claims of the Ed Martins (again, see last week’s film, not only to hear his dubious generalizations but also to hear them debunked.)