Divided Over the Healthcare Public Option

A public option is not the answer to our healthcare problems ["Some Democrats Say Healthcare Public Option Is Not Out," usnews.com].

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A public option is not the answer to our healthcare problems ["Some Democrats Say Healthcare Public Option Is Not Out," usnews.com]. It makes no sense at all to add another inefficient and massive government bureaucracy to an already bloated healthcare system with a goal of making it more affordable. The reason health costs in other parts of the world are less than ours is because they ration care plain and simple. Rationing is not the evil it is portrayed as by the media. We all ration our income at home by thinking before spending and not buying what provides no benefit. This seems obvious but is not how our health system works. We waste a ridiculous percentage of our health expenditures on needless tests, subsidizing the trial lawyers and other special interests, and on medicines that are a hundred times more expensive than alternatives but are no more effective. We burden our physicians and hospitals with expensive mandates providing no real benefit to patients. As long as we continue to operate our healthcare system irrationally and without regard to costs it will be unaffordable for many. Merely adding a public option to blunder along the same insane course will not change this fact. If the government would simply make sensible changes to our current system we could provide excellent and affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Comment by Jim of NY

Insurance companies today are the ones rationing medical care, and it has been getting worse. Given their only motive is to make a buck—I don't trust them with my life. The public option is the only rational alternative.

Comment by Jay Friedman of CA

Once there is a government option, are we really going to let it go under if it can't survive on premiums? Never. Will we raise premiums to cover the shortfall? We can probably do this to a point, but increasing premiums would be like raising taxes on those who can least afford it. "May the better plan win" is a tempting idea that makes it sound like the public option will be honest competition. The competition cannot be honest if one of the teams cannot lose.

Comment by Kristina of VA

Is it just me or opponents of healthcare reform always tend the use the words "I," "me," and "we." I don't understand this lack of caring for people less fortunate. I have a serious disease and have worked my whole life, yet I don't mind giving in order to help someone less fortunate. Europe does this and their economy is better, their health is better; so why can't we do the same?

Comment by Trey of TX

Most people I know are generally fearful of government. They find it to be terribly inefficient and a poor choice given the great ingenuity and efficiency of the marketplace. So I pose this question: Why can't we have a public option that is revenue neutral and competes with the private options that we currently have available. May the better plan win? It's simple, it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything ... it's revenue neutral, and the private insurers have every opportunity to put the public option out of business.

Comment by Lee K. of NY

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