Public Option, Opt-Out


Much better than a trigger:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Monday that the bill he will bring to the Senate floor will include a public health insurance option that individual states could decline to participate in.

“I’ve concluded –with the support of the White House, Senators Dodd and Baucus — that the best way to move forward is to include a public option with the opt-out provision for states,” said Reid, referring to the Senate health and finance committee representatives, respectively, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). “The public option, with an opt-out, is the one that’s fair.”

via Reid: “The Public Option With An Opt-Out Is The One That’s Fair”.

Personally, I will take it. Its a start. Let’s see where it ends up after the most exclusive club gets done with it.

I think an opt out puts pressure on GOP Governors and legislators who say they are anti-government health care option. They now actively have to deny this choice to their own constituency for their “small government principles”, but they have to reject a public option with their own political capital. Its more than adequate cover for any Senate Blue Dogs. They can vote for cloture and then vote against the bill on the floor if they would like. Reid needs to get 51 votes. Only the most conservative House Blue Dogs (aka future Republicans) will vote against this.

If the stimulus battle was any indicator they will call Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Dodd dirty socialist commie fascist liberals, stomp their feet, cross their arms and snort derisively until a bill is passed. Shortly thereafter, on the local news in every red State, these same governors will be front and center at all the ribbon cuttings for new health centers and public health programs funded under this health care reform package, giant scissors in tow.

It will be interesting to see how health insurance industry stock prices do tomorrow. Wall street tends to have a knee jerk reaction to what they see as bad news. A public option that the health insurance industry fund managers think will pass should trigger some sell offs.