[Editor's note: This is my first attempt to come up with very succinct "dot thoughts" that capture a profound truth which hopefully will cut through some of the confusion and obfuscation that rampages amongst the citizenry.]
Subject: The health care public option
Background: Those opposed to the public option opine that it would eventually lead to a "government takeover of U.S. health care".
The Question: Are they right?
The Short Answer: Yes...and that's a good thing.
The Dot Thought for today: Who would you trust more with your life (and the availability and source of health care insurance fundamentally gets down to this question)? Option 1: a private, for-profit company bureaucrat whose bonus and salary is determined by the difference between the amount taken in via premiums and the amount paid out in claims. Option 2: a government bureaucrat whose salary and performance review is based upon the level of service delivered to the customer/taxpayer (or is based on time-in-service with indirect relation to performance, if at all).
Conclusion: If you chose Option 1, your interests are probably tied to those of the private insurance industry, either due to your investments in the industry or its investments in you. Your health is probably good and your income better than average. If you chose Option 2, you probably have no financial stake in the game at all--outside of the hope that your premiums will be lower or coverage more readily available--and feel some level of insecurity that you will have medical coverage when you need it.
Because the latter group is many times larger than the former, the public option would become reality, if left to a vote of the people. If it doesn't, the outcome will have been driven by beltway politics and not democracy.
It's that simple.