For some perspective on the public option, there is much debate and commentary going on in the papers and on the blogs, though sifting through it all could take hours, if not days. One notable piece recently featured on the Huffington Post argued "Fixing Health Care Does not Require a bi-partisan Bill - It Does Require a Public Health Insurance Option. Creamer offers some insight into the politics involved when he says, "it won't matter one whit to average Americans whether the bill passed by Congress is "bi-partisan." That's true. He goes on to explain that while the bill may not be bi-partisan, the feelings of country are. For example:
A poll conducted earlier this year by the highly respected Lake Research Partners found that voters overwhelmingly want everyone to have a choice of private health insurance or a public health insurance plan (73%), while just 15% prefer everyone having private health insurance.
And the preference for a choice between public and private health insurance plans extends across all demographic and partisan groups, including Democrats (77%), Independents (79%) and Republicans (63%). So in fact, President Obama's proposal that creates a choice of a public health insurance option is a bi-partisan plan - whether is has "bi-partisan" support in Congress or not.
I'd say Creamer is right especially when he notes:If private insurers can't compete with an efficient public health insurance plan, they have no business being in the market place. After all, they would be the first to argue that the "private sector" is always more "efficient" than government.
What they're really worried about is that in order to compete they would have to cut massive CEO salaries like the $26 million Cigna paid last year to its CEO - a figure that is 65 times higher than the salary paid to the CEO of the Federal Government - President Obama. Insurance companies are worried that they would have to become more efficient and cut their profit margins in order to compete. Of course from the point of view of the taxpayer, that is one of the major goals of health care reform: to control skyrocketing costs and incentiv-ize efficiency instead of waste.