Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Semi-Public Option?

by Al Falafal

It is beginning to look like we will soon have some kind of health care reform in this country afterall, within our lifetimes even!

The rational, wide-ranging kind of change we need, however, is only likely to come in increments, if at all. And depending on what part of the country you live in, may not come for you anytime soon.

Only lately has the idea of allowing states to opt out of the public option been floated with any seriousness. On the surface, it seems to me to be a very intriguing compromise on the most contentious issues involved in the shouting matches that have passed for debate. If this is what it takes to get the blue dog Democrats on board with passing health care reform, along with the weary Repugnicans who are only interested in their political survival, might we really be seeing a light at the end of this long, ridiculous tunnel?

If it works out that a reform bill is put forth with a public option "option-out" for those states whose Senators oppose all reason then maybe we should just go for it and let the cards fall where they may. Chances are that once government-sponsored health insurance is up and running in certain states of the country, there will soon be a clamoring of people in the out-opted states who continue to get ripped off by their insurance companies. I would not be surprised if it will be those same loudmouth crazies who spent last summer disrupting town meetings who will be crying about being left out and demanding that they too be included in the government plan as well.

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