As you read this the Senate Finance Committee is debating health care reform especially the public option. It all comes down to the following argument (which is taken from the New York Times live blog).
One has to wonder what the motivation in all this may be as the classic argument for a public option is bogus.
” A Democrat steps in… | 11:47 a.m. Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, is allowed to speak out of turn because he has a pressing engagement elsewhere. He strongly backs Mr. Rockefeller’s proposal and says if that fails, he’s for Mr. Schumer’s. He makes pretty much the generic arguments on behalf of a public option, saying it will provide competition, will keep insurers “honest” and will drive down costs. ”
We have to ask, just like Medicare has driven down costs by paying less than market fees? Well, at least he didn’t say it will improve the quality of health care.
But here is more of our political logic IT WILL SAVE TAXPAYERS MONEY. forgive me, but where will that money come from? Oh, I know from hospitals and doctors and no doubt they will absorb all of the additional losses.
“Support from Ms. Stabenow | 1:06 p.m. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, strongly supports a public option. She says one difficulty is that the United States has multiple systems: one for the armed forces and veterans that is wholly government-run; Medicare, which is single-payer and government-run, and one that is employer-based.
She calls the public option offered by Senators Rockefeller and Schumer “the grand compromise” that will give people more choice. About 25 percent of Americans who do not have insurance today will probably choose the public option, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and that won’t bring down the system.
“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” she says, noting that CBO says it would save $50 billion for taxpayers over 10 years.”