O’Reilly backs a public option?

O’REILLY BACKS A PUBLIC OPTION?…. This exchange, from last night’s episode of “The O’Reilly Factor,” had to be some kind of mistake. It sounded like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly endorsed a public option as part of health care reform.

O’REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it’s not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they’re going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don’t necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O’REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don’t like their health insurance, if it’s too expensive, they can’t afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

I guess he’ll have to walk that back — O’Reilly used to denounce a public option as “socialism” — but the language seems to suggest something of a breakthrough.

Now, if only Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck would be willing to denounce O’Reilly as a communist sell-out, we’d really see some progress.