FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama is still defending his plan for health care reform, and Americans and lawmakers alike seem to have no loss for complaints about what's on the table. That includes the so-called public option.
This would create a government-run insurance program that would create competition for private insurance companies. The idea behind it is that it would force them to bring down costs. It would also provide an affordable option for the 47-million Americans who currently have no insurance.
Americans speaking out at health care town hall meetings have voiced numerous objections to the plan, including privacy issues. Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming says it would be a bureaucratic nightmare. Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota said earlier this week that the public option is dead because there simply aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass it.
The White House has indicated a willingness to back away from this part of their plan. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that no bill will pass her chamber without a public option.
All of which should make for a very interesting September when the Congress returns from its August recess.
Here’s my question to you: Can health care reform happen without the so-called public option?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Tom from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania writes:
Please. Each side has its own set of facts and there really isn’t a plan to argue over. This is nuts. We could have insurance reform, without single payer public option, but the reform was supposed to be that your life doesn’t end when you get laid off or get sick.
Lucy from San Francisco, California writes:
Yes, I think reform can happen this time around without the public option. However, if this does happen, I don't think this is the last we've heard of the public option. It may even be a good idea to put only a few pieces of reform in place at a time, so that change is not too dangerously drastic.
Barry from Wantagh, New York writes:
Absolutely Not. The public option is key to keeping the insurance companies from complete dominance of the health care market. Without competition there is no reform.
Ken from Michigan writes:
Why not? Better yet, let's fix what's wrong with Medicare and Medicaid first. Then, give us tort reform, followed by clamping down on abuses in Medicare and Medicaid. Then create an expansion of Medicaid to cover the uninsured. When a water pump fails on a car, you don't go buy a new car, unless your a Democrat in Congress.
Annie from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
No. If we can’t get a bill that makes health insurance competitive, as opposed to the greed we’re dealing with right now, why bother? And wouldn't it be nice if the insurance industry was sinking $1.4M each day into health care instead of lobbying against reform. Makes me think Obama must be on the right track.
It's not real health care reform without the public option. Period. Many of us would have preferred a single-payer plan, so for us, the public option is already compromise. When my husband's insurance under Cobra expires, I will be considered uninsurable. Too bad I can't get my cancer to put itself on hold until social security kicks in.