Many of us were highly disappointed when Joe Lieberman (DINO-CT) and Ben Nelson (DINO-NE) goose stepped with the Republicans and prevented the inclusion of a public option in the ACA. However, the public option may not be completely DOA, because California may institute one in that state, and with a working demonstration model, Republicans will be able to get away with far fewer lies.
At the end of the battle over health care reform, progressives despaired because the final legislation didn’t include a government-run health care plan, known as a public option. But the law provided an opening for states to create their own public-option plans. And consumer advocates in California—with the backing of the godfather of the public option—are now trying to exploit that provision and kicking off a campaign for a public option in the Golden State. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry there has other ideas.
Consumer Watchdog, a California-based consumer advocacy group, is spearheading a ballot initiative that would create a public option for the state. By introducing a public competitor to the health insurance marketplace, the group argues, private insurance companies would have to lower their own rates. The plan would also roll back insurance rates by 20 percent and exact tougher oversight of premiums. The goal: to get the initiative approved by the state attorney general’s office and ready for a vote by the November 2012 election.
Jacob Hacker, the Yale professor who is credited with the idea for the federal public option, says a state-run version could do a lot of good too. "[A] self-insured state plan would have relatively low administrative costs; second, it would not need to earn a profit; third, it could focus on improvements in value that are only possible with a large and relatively stable insured population," Hacker wrote in an email to Mother Jones. Connecticut’s SustiNet program, a public-option plan built on existing insurance pools for state and municipal workers, is a good example of how such a plan might work, Hacker says… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Mother Jones>
Perhaps if voters get to see how well a single payer system works, in comparison to Insurance companies that focus on profit, not care, it could lead to single-payer health care n