Why The Passage of a Health Insurance Public Option Will Be Obama’s Waterloo

by Ben Hoffman

It’s not that a public option is a bad idea. It’s that politics have become so nasty, and our country has become so polarized, that it won’t work.

First of all, the Democrats could come up with a perfect government run health insurance plan, but the right-wingers will lie about it and scare the public. We’re already seeing that from the various proposals being put forth. Most criticism from right-wing pundits, politicians,  and bloggers is based on misinformation and lies. The only thing Republicans care about is regaining power.

If a public option were to pass, it wouldn’t go into effect for several years anyway, and by that time, republicans could be back in power and they’d either put someone completely inept in charge of it (aka FEMA and Michael Brown) or they’d prevent it from ever being implemented.

The option to allow insurance co-ops to operate as non-profits may accomplish the same thing as a public option, since the rationale for a public option is that if you take the profit out of it, prices will drop.

They should also give power to the states to implement their own systems, including a single payer option. If state run systems are proven to be successful, they can be expanded and eventually become national programs.

If a public option is passed now, there’s a good chance the Democrats will lose control of Congress and we’ll be back to the old borrow, spend, privatize, and deregulate policies of Reagan and Bush. And of course, more tax cuts for the wealthy.

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