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Inskeep vs. Steele

From NBC's Mark Murray
NPR's Steve Inskeep conducted an aggressive interview with RNC Chairman Michael Steele on the health-care debate and the role of government in health care. Listen to it here, or check out this exchange below, per NPR's blog:

STEELE: Sure there are issues in the insurance market that we could regulate a little better and that we can control better to maximize the benefits to consumers. That's something that, yeah, we can rightly reform and fix.

(Steve pounces)

STEVE: Wait a minute, wait a minute. You would trust the gov-ern-ment (Steve draws out the word for emphasis) to look into that?

STEELE: No, I'm talking about private, I'm talking about citizens, I'm talking about...
(Luckily for Steele, Steve interjects before Steele can finish, giving the RNC chair a little more time to try and escape the logic trap he talked himself into.)

STEVE: Who is it, you said that's something that should be looked into. Who is it that should look into that?

STEELE: Well, who regulate the insurance markets?

STEVE: That would be the government.

STEELE: Wait a minute. Hold up. You're doing a wonderful little dance here and you're trying to be cute but the reality of this is very simple. I'm not saying the government doesn't have a role to play. I've never said that. The government does have a role to play, the government has a very limited role to play.

STEVE: Mr. Chairman, I respect that you feel I'm doing a dance here. (Steele laughs). I just want you to know that as a citizen I'm a little confused by the positions you take because you're giving me a very nice, nuanced position here.

STEELE: It's not nice and nuanced, I'm being very clear...

Also in the interview, Steele told Inskeep this: "No one is trying to scare people with sound bites. I have not done that."

Oh, really? Here's what he said on "Morning Joe" last week: "[T]here's clearly an attempt by at least the House members to put in place a structure that causes concern for the American people in respect to end of life decisions. I think that's a legitimate point. You don't have to call it death panels if you don't want to. You can call it a panel. I call it rationing."

And here's his Washington Post op-ed from Monday: "[W]e need to outlaw any effort to ration health care based on age. Obama has promoted a program of 'comparative effectiveness research' that he claims will be used only to study competing medical treatments. But this program could actually lead to government boards rationing treatments based on age... Obama's government-run health 'reform' would pay for seniors' meetings with a doctor to discuss end-of-life care. While nonthreatening at first, something that is quite normal for a family to do becomes troublesome when the government gets involved. Seniors know that government programs that seem benign at first can become anything but. The government should simply butt out of conversations about end-of-life care and leave them to seniors, their families and their doctors."