an optional reminder

As the healthcare reform bill passed the House this weekend, it seemed like there was a renewed outcry of fear about the fact that the bill includes a government-run option that people will have opportunity to purchase.

Now, it seems like most of the arguing about this healthcare sounds like this:
The bill includes a government-run* option that people will have the opportunity to purchase.

*Wherein we emphasize "government-run" (dun dun DUN!) as a hushed dirty phrase that has no other meaning than to imply socialism, communism, DMV service, and grandma-killing.

I wonder, though, if we can look at this reality another way:
The bill includes a government-run option that people will have the opportunity to purchase.

It's amazing to me how often those two little bolded words are ignored as fears are stoked.

It's optional. As in, if you don't like the sound of it, don't buy it.

It's for purchase. As in, it ain't free. Most people will pay premiums for their coverage. The ones that won't have to pay are ALREADY GETTING IT FOR FREE via Medicare or Medicaid, due to eligibility based on income or disability.

Soo . . .

All that being said, I guess I have a hard time understanding why there is still such a strong contingency of people fighting so passionately to prohibit an OPTIONAL plan that uninsured people can BUY THEMSELVES.

Nor do I understand how this option is going to change the fabric of our nation, or turn us into a socialist nation, or put our elderly in front of a death panel. Although, it's all very dramatic in the telling, and seems to have given a lot of people something to get good and riled up over.

My son is currently in a "public option". He has been for his whole life, as a former foster child. I'm hoping to sit down and share our experiences in further detail, but here is a spoiler alert: the public option is pretty decent. Adequate, even. It's all a very boring story, to be truthful, and not at all as titillating and macabre as the picture currently being painted of how our government will mistreat the sick.

Although I can see where that story gets a little more play. Because this certainly isn't going to sell headlines:

Asthmatic 4-Year-Old Self-Refers to Specialist, Receives Non-Formulary Without Prior Authorization.

Sometimes truth is just not as fun, is it?


  1. I don't mind the picture you paint, but the picture the Wallstreet Journal painted a few days ago of health care costing my family roughly 20 percent of our pre-tax dollars makes my skin crawl. The rumors of having to pay stiff penalties to decline the public "option" also lead me straight for the Tums.

  2. My concern is that companies will drop their insurance and pay the penalties because that would cost them less in the long run. Then you have no choice but govt insurance. Plus the house versions are different..who knows what the ultimate verbiage will be? Plus the govt run option has to be paid for somehow, most likely with higher taxes like Europeans pay.

  3. I don't want a federally run health care program that pays for abortions with our tax dollars. This is a HUGE issue for me, and not something that can be overlooked. The only thing that protects us from this is the Hyde amendment, which President Obama has opposed in the past. There needs to be language in the bill that lets us know that it will not federally fund abortion. So far, that has not happened.

  4. Amber, over the weekend, Stupak made a successful amendment to the House health care legislation that prohibits the use of tax dollars to fund abortions.

  5. The Stupak amendment will most likely be removed in Conference after the Senate passes their version of the bill.

  6. Well-said, Kristen, as always. I'll be linking to this. That way, people can attack you and not me. I'm nice like that. :)

  7. Agreed, we need a public health option. Option being the key word. There are sure lots of people who currently have no options.


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