What a real public option would look like

BruceMcF breaks it down for you:

So: (1) Public Choice

“No Taxation without Representation”. Every single person facing an individual mandate must be provided with the choice of a publicly administered plan. Otherwise the government is forcing the citizen to pay without the elected representatives of the citizen controlling the spending.

You want to put a trigger on the public option. Fine, except the exact same trigger applies to the individual mandate.

You want to restrict access to the public option to some smaller group? Fine, except the same restriction applies to the individual mandate.

The system is not politically legitimate if it requires payment to for-profit commercial corporations.

(2) Robust

It cannot be lumbered down with any restrictions not faced by private insurers.

State by state public options? Really? You are really prepared to restrict the corporations to firms with no commercial activity across state lines? If they are free standing state by state public options, it has to be state by state for profit corporations. Oh, not allowing [United Healthcare] into the exchanges defeats the purpose of lining private pockets at the public expense? Yeah, kind of thought so.

BruceMcF has long been one of my favorite transportation bloggers and has written great stuff on health care reform too, including Axelrod: Government by Consent of the Corporation. His home blog is Burning the Midnight Oil, but he frequently cross-posts his work at Progressive Blue, Daily Kos, My Left Wing, Docudharma, and the Hillbilly Report.

Speaking of real and fake public options, Timothy Noah explains “the sorry history” of triggers enacted by Congress, and slinkerwink has suggestions and talking points to use when contacting House Progressives about health care reform. I still think it’s worth urging Populist Caucus members as well as Progressives to insist on a real, not fake or triggered, public option in the final health care bill.

Bruce Braley (IA-01) leads the Populist Caucus, and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Leonard Boswell (IA-03) both belong to the caucus. All of them have advocated for the public option, but to my knowledge none has pledge to vote down any bill that lacks a public option.

For those interested in the nitty gritty of legislative wrangling, David Waldman ponders what might happen if the Senate Finance Committee members can’t agree and consequently fail to report out a health care bill.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.