Karen Tumulty highlights overwhelming public support for a public option for health care insurance.
…buried in the WSJ/NBC poll is this bit of data that is of interest to those of us following the health care debate. Asked whether a health care overhaul should give people a choice of both private insurance and a plan administered by the government, three-quarters rated it quite or extremely important. I’m told the unequivocal result surprised even the pollsters:
“While I feel very strongly that consumers should have the choice of a national, Medicare-like plan, my colleagues do not. . . But we were concerned that the ongoing health reform debate is beginning to show signs of fracture on the public plan issue, so in order to advance the process of developing bipartisan legislation and to move it forward, it’s time to find consensus here,” Daschle said.
Believe it or not, I found an interesting tidbit in Broder’s column on the subject:
Daschle reluctantly agreed that there would be no federal-government plan. Instead, states that want it could include such a plan on the menu for their residents, with technical help from the feds in setting it up. Five years from now, if a demand for such an option still exists, the president could recommend it, and Congress would have to vote on it.
Would something like that be a dead end or the thin end of the wedge? My take on health care is that single-payer works better and that a public option is likely to lead eventually to single-payer. So I’m behind any plan that includes public option. For now, Congress is simply too deeply in the pockets of the health care industry to push any kind of single-payer through, no matter how the public feels about it (it’s important to remember at times like this, that the United States is more of a corportocracy that a democracy).
I don’t know if letting it start at the state level is a way of killing it or if that makes it possible for it to trickle up? Any thoughts?