The Public Option

As Congress mulls what to do on healthcare reform, talk has started to turn to a solution offered by some Democrats that is seen as a way to deal with the problem of the uninsured.

It is called “the public option,” and on its face it looks like a winner.

Basically, the public option is a low-cost health insurance option that would be run by the government, which would compete with private plans and which would give more people access to the insurance.

Sounds great, right?

People who are uninsured would like it because they get low-cost insurance.

Small-business owners would like it because it gives them a chance to get low-cost insurance for their employees.

And big businesses would love it because they can drop the health insurance they currently give their employees and have the government pick up the tab.

Can you repeat that last line?

Yes, if you currently have health insurance through your employer, and are pretty happy with it, which is the case with most Americans, there is a pretty good chance that your new insurance program will be run by the government.


Now the “public option” sounds like a nightmare to millions of Americans who are perfectly content with the healthcare they currently get.

The “public option” is a de facto government takeover of the private health insurance.

That may sound good to folks who don’t have insurance now or can’t afford it. And it may sound good to Corporate America, which is looking to shed costs wherever it can.

But I doubt it is a good deal for the vast majority of the American people, who currently like their healthcare and don’t want the Democrats messing with it.


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