I hope they finally pass health care reform this week simply so that we can stop hearing about it.
But let’s be clear about one thing: What passes this week will be more of a necessary political victory rather than being a necessary policy victory. Yes, there are some nice little chestnuts in there, including a legislated end to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
But, let’s be honest. The thing is useless without a public option.
Here’s the thing about regulative legislation: It requires enforcement. And this is a country that now sports a political party that, when it acquires power, immediately begins doing everything it can to strip the federal government of its enforcement powers.
A public option would be a control above and beyond the purview of regulation and enforcement. It is a true market solution to the problem of escalating premiums. A public option would force insurance companies to become more competitive, to slash overhead, to stop paying their CEOs $57,000 an hour. And it would be far more difficult for Republigoats to jab sticks between its spokes.
This is why they don’t like it. It is too disruptive to their ongoing mission to cripple government. It is too organic and too effective. And that, ladles and jelly-spoons, is why we probably won’t have a public option! Yay!