Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can We Say Goodbye to a Public Option?

Though some of my more liberal friends are loath to acknowledge it, it seem that the public option is on its way out.

Good riddance, I say.

It is upsetting to me that the debate over health care hasn't included more serious discussion of single-payer. I still don't know whether I could support a government monopsony, but I do think that arguments like this need to be heard. Health care reform is about fundamental social priorities, not political grandstanding. That means we should be listening to all different perspectives, not bludgeoning our political adversaries with attack ads.

The widespread conservative fear-mongering about "socialized medicine" is as stupid as it is shameful. We all deserve better.

That said, the public option never made much sense -- at least the way that it was explained. There was never any reason to think that a public plan would wring any significant cost savings out of the system, nor was there reason to believe that a plan without federal subsidies would do much to expand coverage.

Hopefully, congressional leaders can now put this silly argument behind them and focus on actually getting some legislation passed.

I guess we'll see what happens . . .

No comments: