Following GOP complaints, Grayson issued this apology:
Meanwhile, Republican Senator John Ensign (NV) outlined his objection to a public option:
Ensign...said he feared a government plan would prove so popular it could never be uprooted.In other words -- horrors! -- a public option might be the worst of all possible worlds: Successful. Ensign didn't bother to explain why he opposed a concept that would benefit actual people to the point of being so successful that it might increase. Not to worry, Charles Grassley (R-IA) carried that ball for Ensign:
"Does anybody believe Congress would let this public plan go away once it has a constituency?" Ensign asked. "No way. Once it's started, you will never get rid of it. Congress will subsidize it more and more, allow it to grow and grow.
"Government is not a fair competitor...It is a predator." He predicted that "a government plan will ultimately force private ensurers out of business," reducing choices for consumers.