The Public Option Is a Scam; Sadly the Democrats Know It
What a grand illusion it has become. The public demanded a solution to the healthcare crisis. The Democrats said they would come to the rescue, then promptly sat down with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to come up with a solution that benefited them the most.
The Democrats had originally come up with a Public Option (PO) that was designed to provide people with the alternative to buy a low cost insurance plan run by the government. However, with the insurance industry's "buying power' in Washington, they successfully crafting a new and stripped down PO that the Congressional Budget Office forecast would now "cost more than a comparable private plan, and would [optimistically] attract merely 0-6 million customers" (assuming it could even get off the ground since no insurance company has managed to start up from scratch in decades). The result of the current congressional bills is that Americans will be required to purchase health insurance from private insurance companies without any realistic alternative.
Now comes the really sad part. The "Corporate' Democrats are now pushing the PO as their big concession to progressives to gain their endorsement of the 2000 page insurance reform bill. They are doing this even though they all know it is a scam, they know the PO is not viable! They have compromised their integrity to provide Americans with something they know full well ahead of time is not worth the paper it is printed on in order to score political points.
It is unfortunate that the Democrats in Washington have not heeded the message they got from their own Democratic voters who, in protest, voted for Scott Brown, a Republican in Massachusetts. The people are tired of corporate handouts/bailouts and the Democratic Party will pay dearly in November and 2010 if they persist in ignoring the needs of the people over the demands of the lobbyists.
In these hard economic times it makes more sense than ever for Washington to provide all Americans with a system to maximize their healthcare dollar. They can do that by setting up a program for all Americans to pool their money into one insurance pool which distributes the risk as wide as possible, and thereby provide healthcare at the lowest cost while providing complete coverage without co-pays, deductibles or lifetime maximum coverage. The financing of healthcare is beyond the capability of the private sector. The government must provide the solution like they provide other infrastructure: roads, education, fire and police, etc. The government must step forward and own up to its obligation to "promote the general welfare' of the country.
To get a clear understanding of a government insurance program, take 4:37 to view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A