One of the occupational hazards of opining on the Tee Vee is that it’s very easy to make a mistake, and there’s no institutionalized way (like a magazine’s corrections page) to try to make it right.

Last night on Countdown, I said that California congressman Pete Stark, like John Conyers, was an advocate of single payer healthcare. That was false. A viewer writes in to gently correct me:

Just to be clear, Stark is not a cosponsor of the Conyer’s bill and wasn’t during the 110th Congress either.

Stark introduces a bill, AmeriCare (H.R. 193; H.R. 1841 in the 110), which is more like the Obama approach. Conyers did cosponsor AmeriCare last year. Under the Stark bill, an individual can keep their employer provided coverage if they like it, OR they can get into AmeriCare- a new national health care program modeled on Medicare. Medicare does have private plan option and it is fair to say that AmeriCare would be an exchange where a person could pick a public plan or one of the private plan options that exist within it.

Stark has said publicly that a single payer approach, such as the Conyers’ bill, raises as many problems as the Wyden approach because both dismantle the employer-provided coverage system. In a world where the vast majority of people get their coverage through their employer, Stark doesn’t think we can simply dismantle that system.

I really, really regret the error. What I meant to say was not that Stark is along with Conyers a leading proponent of single-payer, but rather, like Conyers, a leading proponent of expanding Medicare. But I’m a bit mortified that I flubbed it so badly.