This Year’s Weak Public Option, Could Be Next Year’s Strong Public Option

Regarding the idea that even if we get a public option passed into law it will be too compromised to be meaningful people are really missing the key idea about the public option. It’s a foothold.

Ok, maybe the House version of the public option is not ideal, but so long as it offers a superior experience to private insurance for a substantial number of people then it’s very valuable in the long term. If only 2 million people end up using the public option, but they like it then you’ve got 2 million Congressional constituents potentially telling their Representatives to support it and strengthen it. These people wouldn’t be geographically isolated or terribly poor people (They likely wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid), just people wanting a fair deal they can’t get from the private market.

That’s why it’s such bitter fight, because even a small victory will likely be impossible to reverse and plant the seeds for further expansion.


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