Friday, October 2, 2009

Public option? Who cares?

Okay, the Senate Finance Committee has turned down the "public option" in its health care bill — to which I say, "So what?" If people actually were paying attention, they'd know that any real public option — to wit, one that actually could lower the cost of health care — never even was considered by either the Senate or the House.

The alleged public option was always nothing more than a choice for individuals forced to buy their insurance via local or regional "exchanges." It never was an option for employers, and employer funded health insurance is where the money is.

So, some paranoid Republicans possibly think such tiny and limited public options might be a "first step" towards SOCIALIZED MEDICINE (gasp, wheeze, urinate fresh white tennis trousers) and some not especially bright liberal Democrats think public options can successfully compete with private plans even under enormous constraints. Nothing ever has prevented the American Public from electing individuals who are enormously stupid.

If there's no public option for employers to buy into, there is no real competition. The so-called public option now under consideration is just a straw horse, set up so as to be knocked down — or not — but it doesn't matter to any real extent. It serves only to differentiate "liberal" Democrats, "moderate" Democrats, and Republicans — and if that's all that matters, we may as well roll over and go back to sleep.

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