Further, health insurance companies have distributed their local markets so that there is little or no real competition. That is why payments are so high to all providers, and why big pharma has one of the highest rates of profit in the economy. Further, the escalating cost of Medicare is in large part due to the political deals that the provider industries made with Bush and the Republican Congress between 2001 and 2008.
The misinformation spread by the opponents of healthcare reform go from claiming that "the guvmint" will monitor your bank accounts and establish "death panels," to the claim that the public option will cause such hyper-inflation that the dollar will collapse.
The only problem with the public option would be if it were funded by taxes not premiums and then was under-funded because cowardly legislators didn't raise taxes enough to cover all costs. What is really needed is a comparison of current private costs and projected public costs. Obama claims that costs would be reduced on balance, and he makes a good case. In other words, the projected $1 trillion cost would probably be less than what we pay now--not to the government, but to the healthcare "system." The reason insurers will do anything they can to stymie reform, is that their over-sized profits would be downsized.
They should be. A whole industrial sector should not be predicated on the heartbreak and misfortunes of the American people. Health care should be a right, not an expensive privilege.
In an ideal world, we might have something like single-payer, but obviously, with the political uproar over a simple public option, single payer is not politically feasible. One of the arguments of the conservatives against a public option, however, is that it would crowd out private insurers; that we'd end up with single payer. If private insurance companies can't compete against it, then we will have single payer, but if private insurers can't compete against it, then they don't deserve to be in business.