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Updated on October 26, 2009

public option still alive

It looks like the Public Option portion of the future health care insurance plans for Americans will live to see the light of day once again; as Capitol Hill is agog with the news that Majority leader in the Senate, Sen. Harry Reid, is close to getting the 60 votes that will allow a final bill to materialize.

He has been "working the phones and, behind closed doors, trying to meld together five bills. And he is resurrecting the "public option" to compete with private insurance.", according to ABC News. Such piece of news would gladden many hearts, as they would be able to get insurance coverage plans, which would emanate from a real non-profit source, the government. 

With a no profit government program involved, prices could be standardized, as the charges of corporate insurance companies would be forced to reflect those of public option plans, for sheer comparison, if nothing else; and although, people did not want a free health care plan, as that would seem like a handout, they knew that they could choose from a spate of plans, whether they were private or government sponsored, depending on their income and/or budget. 

That would enable the overall cost of health care to fall, and it would also make health care affordable as it should be. Although, the word "Universal" has not been used by lawmakers, in connection with any of the health care reforms, the idea of what was being referred to as "the option-option" would emerge as the final bill, and it would have a choice clause inserted in it; permitting States to stay in Public Option plans or to have the one that suited them. Thus merging five health care reform bills into one to make that choice available to all, so that everybody would eventually be covered, either by private insurers or the government.

The competition is what most people are afraid of, calling it an incursion of "big and powerful" government into private enterprise, which does not fit the spirit of capitalists America. However, the present state of affairs do not also suit the poor, people with pre-existing conditions, and over 40 to 50 million others who have no insurance coverage of any kind, presently or in the past.

Senator Harry Reid's plan, if it prevails, will be somewhat universal; and it will be like a very heavy burden being lifted off the shoulders of a whole lot of people, making it possible for them to show up at their own doctors' offices, instead of hospital emergency rooms, where, in some cases, they will remain unattended for hours. 

The scenario can be one in which both the patients and the doctors in the ERs are "tired", and yet, they are forced to meet each other. In those kinds of situations, reforms are needed in the United States health care system, and Public Option must be part of that system, however hard the anti-public option element in society will howl.


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